May 30, 2007

Shopping in La Ceiba, Casa Toni

Casa Toni, La Ceiba, Honduras
Casa Toni, on the main street, but almost hidden by the street vendors

The first time I went to Casa Toni, I thought that the store must have just recently changed locations. The second time I thought that they must periodically receive very large shipments and have no place to store them. Now, having more experience, I know that the store always looks like this. This photo shows what you see as you come in the side door. The front door seems to be impassable now.

Recently one of our Honduras Living discussion group members was looking for yarn and I suggested that she try Casa Toni.

It turns out that my recommendation was wrong. They sell crochet thread but not yarn. Looking at these pictures, I hope Sharon forgives me for the bad information. Those skeins at the top of the shelves look like yarn, don't they? Who on earth knows what they sell here?!

After her trip, Sharon wrote to say that Casa Toni was "complete chaos!" I chuckled to myself, having forgotten what the store looked like. Just another one of those things that you somehow get used to. After she mentioned that, I thought the pictures might be interesting to you.

As far as I can tell, they sell fishing tackle type items, crochet thread, hair dye, personal products such as shampoo and deodorant and a few nuts and bolts hardware-type things. When I need crochet thread, I go to Casa Toni because they have fine and normal (#10) sizes and lots of colors, although I usually stick to white or cream.

How are their prices? I have no idea. Based on the crowd, I think they must be pretty good.

Casa Toni is one of those old "mom and pop" stores that has found its highly unusual niche in La Ceiba (fishing tackle, thread, and hair dye). The owners are very nice people.

El señor Toni doesn't know this, but we have him to thank for our St. Augustine lawn! He has an orange grove a little ways out of town covered with St. Augustine. He is a friend of a neighbor and the neighbor asked him if we could come to get some grass sprigs for our new garden a few years ago. When he said no problema, we jumped at the chance.

La señora is a sweet lady who is always helpful and patient with my Spanish, even though she speaks English. By the way, the Spanish word for 'yarn' technically is 'hilo,' but hilo also means thread, which they do sell. Madeja means skein, but that doesn't necessary indicate yarn. (I learned all of this after the visit to Casa Toni.)

After a discussion in which I was talking about mantel para la cama ('tablecloth for the bed' − it was all I could think of to distinguish yarn from thread!) several ladies chimed in to help. El Jefe wasn't much help with this girlie stuff.

It was determined that if you want yarn in La Ceiba, you should ask for
lana (which means 'wool' and we all know that most yarn is not made of wool anymore, but that's the way it is). The discussion went similar to this Word Reference discussion, which I should have looked up before I went shopping.

So then we were off to the places to which the ladies sent us to buy yarn...but that will be another story mañana. (heh, heh, mañana!)

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