I had a very, uhm, informative morning...
I left the house at 9:30, with the sun shining, and a list of errands. I had a nice walk, then caught the bus to the Yamuni, hoping to finally find a nice coffee service. Quite some time ago, I wanted a wildly colored set, including coffee server, several sugar bowls, and a few creamers. Since that time, I got my rolling buffet that is brightly-colored tile, and so I decided that a white coffee service would be perfect! And Yamuni had them! (And, of course, *no* place had my previously-sought-after wildly-colored service.) After looking at them (and the c8000 sticker for the cafetera alone), I decided to modify my "needs" a bit. I did get enough for a nice cafecito, and figured no one is going to miss the extra milk option I had in mind. I started to get some cloth while I was there, but after waiting about 15 minutes with a bolt of cloth in my hand, and no one even glancing my way to sell me some, I left.
My next stop was a cluster of shops - I looked for a framing shop that I knew about, and had just never stopped in. Now I have some art I want framed, so I am "slow-shopping" around, trying to find out what is a good rate. So far, one art store in downtown San José will frame a small-medium piece, with matting and glass, for c20,000. Well, I walked right past where I thought the shop was. So I crossed the street, looked at my notes, and looked back across the street - at the closed storefront, with a missing sign. It's officially closed down. (By the way, that is an excellent method for finding a store that you *know* is very near - cross the street and scan for it from the other side.) Well, I know of another place to check, so I'll get some more data points eventually, and hopefully some framed art!
Since I was right there, and since I had given up on cloth at Yamuni, I walked into a Quilt store (where I was *immediately* helped). Times have sure changed! It used to be that you could buy the end of a bolt for a much reduced price. The clerks used to automatically add several inches to what they measured, just to make sure you got all you paid for. And you could buy "fat quarters" of any material, *especially* in a quilting specialty store. Well, no more. I found the cloth that I think will work for my project, also found a bolt end "on sale," waited (typical of a fabric store, no matter where you are), and then found out that the bolt end wasn't a great deal, *and* I couldn't buy less than a meter of the other cloth! Very strange, but not bank-breaking, so I got my meter of cloth (about $2). This place *does* have beautiful material! I am sure I will go back for another look, and I'm sure I will need more than a meter :-). (The store is called "Quilts," and is 200 m East, 100 m South, of Banco Nacional San Pedro. And they do sell fat quarters, but they are in packets.)
Next, I walked to a photography store, hoping they would have a way of using my pictures to make a calendar. No such luck. They would print it, but couldn't make one up, and couldn't bind it either. So, I will have to put one together myself. Maybe. Not holding my breath. But I do have some nice pictures all picked out! BTW - Guilá in Sabana would be able to print and bind, but also couldn't make it in software. This photo store did have the ability to make a custom coffee cup - they will put your photo or logo on a cup for c4000 (surprisingly for Cost Rica, they did offer volume discounts).
I decided to finally ask about getting my shoes resoled. There is a very busy shoe repair place in the same neighborhood, so I stopped in. I had already asked about getting my shoes fixed at a shop in downtown San José, and he said he plain couldn't do it. So, I didn't hold out much hope. However, this fellow said they could do something about it, and what they suggested sounded just fine to me. They quoted 2 days, and c8000. The timeframe sounded good, but I checked with my housekeeper about the price, and she agrees - it's a bit much. c6000 seems more like it. Again, I know of a few other places to check. Again, it will take me a while to get there. :-)
On the way home, I decided to forgo shopping for a small fan - that's been on my list for a long time, and I don't really need it for a couple more months. I did a little grocery shopping, and got some take-out for lunch. I was home with my swag and eating lunch with Rick (by far the best part!) by 12:30.
I always get a little laugh now when people say "you can find a good deal, you just have to shop around." That's fine, if you have an easy way to get around, and (*most importantly*) you know where to go to look! Hopefully, this bit of information will help others in their quest for comparison shopping.
This was a pretty good morning! I did almost everything on my list, and found out a lot of valuable information. Of course, it helps if your list is not so specific as to say "get shoes repaired" instead of "check on price and possibility of getting shoes repaired" :-D