The first house
and I purchased was in a bad part of San Diego
called Encanto. The neighborhood was not too safe, and I carried a concealed pistol
with Glaser anti-personnel
rounds in the clip when I went to my garage to play with my Ham Radio equipment
. It was a mostly hispanic
neighborhood, and the little section we lived in was a mini-oasis
of decent, mostly Mexican
folks. We watched out for each other, and kept an eye on each other's property
My Spanish was very rusty back then, and when I saw three guys walking down the street yelling things in Spanish, then stopping and knocking on all the doors in the neighborhood (and peeking in back yards), I became suspicious. There was an even more suspicious-looking beat-up old Chevrolet van with missing license plates following them around.
I went out front and sat on a lawn chair, watching these men shouting, peeking and knocking. They skipped my house, but they kept an eye on me while I blatently watched them. They proceeded through the neighborhood, and continued on past my eyesight.
About five minutes later, my next-door neighbor pulled up. I went over to say hello, and to let him know about the odd shouting men who stopped by his house. He chuckled, and repeated the sentence that the men had shouted - Huevos para la venta!. He told me that the men were farmers from Mexico that travelled up every few weeks with a van full of eggs. They were egg salesmen, and the van held the crates of eggs. My neighbor explained that the farmers could get more by selling them door-to-door, and that the eggs were still less than half the price in the stores.
I broke out a few of my old Spanish textbooks and brushed up a tad on my Spanish-language skills. The next time they came through, the van had Mexican B.C. plates and the same three gents yelling "Eggs for sale!" I picked up three dozen white and a dozen browns, and two dozen for my neighbor. He was right; the eggs were cheaper and larger to boot. I became a regular customer until we sold that house.