MexMo: Fabric store confusion in Cabo

12/12/2013 03:20:00 PM
This gives me the hives. It's too much for me to handle.

In the seven years I've lived in Cabo I've made it a habit to never frequent any fabric stores.

When we lived States-side, I adored Michael's and Hobby Lobby and I could be there for hours.

However, there are no "craft stores" like that here.

There are fabric stores and little tienditas that are full of dollar-store things smothered in glitter, cheap plastic and styrofoam things and lots and lots of non-breathable fabrics.


But it's Christmas time and this means that Lila and Vivienne have to be dressed up as something that will confound me for their annual Christmas program at school.

Lila needs to be a "Pastorcito."

This is a shepherd.

I'd been waiting for two weeks for the school to put a photo on the board of what she needed to wear, just like they did for everyone else's class... The Christmas program is tomorrow: still no picture.

Yay, Cabo!

Easy. I'll go to the fabric store and buy some fabric and drape it over her head and make some sort of head-piece and long dress-like thing with a rope tied around her waist. DONE. Right?

Um, wrong.

So I ask my assistant, A., what a pastorcito wears and then I explained my plan.

He laughs.

"That's an American pastorcito. This is Mexico."

UGH. Seriously? Why would Mexican and American shepherds dress differently? Robe? Head thing? Staff? Right?


So, we google "pastorcito".

We get that.


A. and I decide that the child appears to be in a Russian and not Mexican shepherd get up. (Perhaps this is a Spanish pastorcito?) Strange.

Then we find this:

WHAT? This is some sort of Swedish, hills-are-alive, mash-up that I'm supposed to make???

Then we find this.

A. tells me we're getting warmer... that this is supposed to be what she would wear... if she were a boy.

SO, I text my favorite teacher at Lila's school (she's currently Vivienne's teacher) and she tells me that SHE WILL GIVE ME A COSTUME FOR LILA TO WEAR AND THAT SHE WILL BRING IT TO SCHOOL FOR ME TODAY.

(I love her, I love her, I love her.)

We're going to go more this route:

So, picture of Lila in her outfit to come.


SO, that leaves us only to take care of Vivienne who just needs to wear a white shirt, jeans and this little collar thing around her neck.


It's felt.
It's some sort of trim.
Cut to a diamond.
Attach to Vivienne.

(If I need to have her sleep in this tonight to be prepared for Friday's show, I will. No worries. I'll sew her in it. Or more accurately, glue her in it.)

So I go to the fabric store this morning at 9 a.m. thinking this will just take me about 15 minutes.


I start looking for red felt. EASY?


I have no idea what the word is for "felt" in Spanish. So, I find some green felt in the Descuenta (Discount) Bin and show it to someone and ask them where fabric like this could be found.

I find the fabric lady. Ask her. She tells me, "We're out." Seriously? There's a mountain of rolls of felt and you're out of red. Why am I not surprised.

In the meantime, I find some almost-red-felt in the Descuenta Bin and decide that will work.

Next, I need to buy the trim. I'm seriously racking my brain thinking, "WHAT DO I HAVE AT HOME THAT WILL WORK SO THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT IN A 10-PERSON LONG LINE FOR RIBBON?"

Nothing. I have nothing because I don't sew.

I get in line. I need this ribbon.

I text A to confirm my destiny:  "Am I supposed to get in line to get ribbon cut for me?"

A. answers: "Yes."


So here's how this pans out:

Each person must wait in line for their varying adornments or smaller items: paints, paint brushes, rick-rack (sp?), ribbons, etc. When it's your turn, you tell the woman what you want and she takes a wooden bin out of the wall that holds the contents of your sewing desires and then the rest of the line has to WAIT while you choose what you want OR she goes to the rows and rows of ribbons and cuts off what you need.

God save me now.

Then, after she collects all of the things you will buy, she writes down... s-l-w-o-w-l-y on a "nota" (receipt) what you are buying. She gets her calculator out and everything. She's not as well-versed with the calculator as I'd like.

I was in this line for 28 minutes. [Story of my life these days...]

While I was in line, this woman walks into the store - I'd say she was about 65. She proceeds to somehow slip (!!!) and fall (!!!) and bump her head so hard on the ground that we heard it (!!!).

And guess what, no one got out of line.

That's apparently how hardcore these lines can be.

(The woman got up with help from two significant others of those in line and walked away and was fine. She even got an employee to get all of her fabrics and sewing notions and she got to cut in line. I think I'm going to try the slip-and-fall routine next time, myself...)

So it was my turn, I got my "liston" (ribbon) and the s-l-o-w writer gave me a carbon copy of what she wrote on my "nota" and then took my stuff to a different cubicle thing that had no sign above it; I had no idea what it was. I was ready to pay. WHERE DO I PAY?

As it turns out I couldn't pay. Because I had to go back to the fabric section and get another "nota" for my discount remanent fake-felt fabric even thought it was from the Discuenta Bin.


THEN I had to take BOTH notas, (one for the fabric, one for the ribbon) to a very skinny man in a very small cube-like structure and I paid there.

THEN, I went to the another, not-signed, cube-like structure and picked up my $48 peso purchase there.

It took me 54 minutes in the store.

I bought the equivalent of $3.69 worth of fabric and ribbon.


I literally walked to my car laughing.

My life has been a CIRCUS lately.

Step right up...



  1. That doesn't sound too far off from Jo-Ann Fabric here. They need a large 'instructions' sign for those of us that are not aware of how it all works.

  2. Wow!! All that for not even $4.00 worth of items!! Crazy.

    I can't wait to see pictures of the girls outfits and how they turned out!! :-)


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