Where cauliflower doesn’t cost $7.00

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Today my friend drove me and another Gringa to the “Tuesday Market”just up the hill from San Miguel.  When I say hill I mean requiring crampons, so the lift was appreciated.  It is truly amazing to me that on Tuesday hundreds of people set up stalls with every imaginable item for sale under plastic tents.  They sell all day and then remove everything…until the next Tuesday.   Second- hand clothes are a big item.  Huge tables piled high are pawed over by locals and gringas alike as young men exhort us in Spanish to hurry up and buy, buy, buy.  The clothes are quite good quality and I managed to find a very chic skirt for my granddaughter…made in Italy, if you please.  Shoes and boots ( cowboy and hiking), toys, kitchen ware, electronics, strange hardware items and, food, glorious food, both raw and cooked are all there.  The smell of frying fish and chips wafts over the site.  How odd that fish is the great speciality on top of a mountain in the central highlands!  Huge vats of mysterious juices are sold and I took a chance and drank down a large glass of what tasted like liquid rice pudding.  Oh, take a look at the percussion  element on the ankle of the guitar player who serenades the dinners.

The veggies are spectacular.  I bought a beautiful broccoli, a huge and juicy mango, some green peppers, and an enormous leek for the equivalent of $4.00.  I will make leek and rice and eat it for three days.

The noise of hawkers blasting pitches for their wares…natural remedies for every ailment known to man…blended with cheerful Mexican music and the crowing of magnificent roosters just waiting to be taken home can be a bit draining.  I resisted the impulse to buy a most lovely caged bird and hopped onto a local bus heading for the centre of town.  Luckily I jumped on before the legal stop and thus avoided being completely squashed in the front of the bus.  The fare is collected by a boy of about twelve whose slight build and ability to squeeze between nursing mothers and overstuffed gringas carrying many plastic bags are absolute job requirements.  The Tuesday market is part shopping and part social outing.  Even if I didn’t need a thing,  I’d still love being there.

 

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