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Published: October 10th 2011
Yesterday we made the 8-block trek to, what I think anyway, one of the biggest farmer’s/flea market I have ever seen! I knew we were getting close when I noticed that all the taxis, probably about 75 of them, were stopped either dropping off or picking up fares. Most of the market was under a tarp, which was a good thing, as it must have been about 85 degrees with the same humidity.
When we first got under the tarp, I couldn’t believe the throngs of humanity! The people in Oaxaca are mostly indigenous and they were even shorter than me, a fact I really liked! I now know how David must feel (he’s 6’4”). Anyway, the market is divided up into sections, although there’s nothing in writing that says what section you’re going in to. The section we walked into was just like being in Home Depot, except there were also cell phones and portable radios. We decided to go into the food section.
Ah, the food section, something I know about! Tomatoes, onions, grasshoppers – wait, what?! There were little abuelas (about 4’10”!) carrying baskets of dried (or were they cooked?) grasshoppers. I wanted to try one
really bad, but was afraid I’d have to buy a whole bunch and what then if I didn’t think they were the most delicious thing in the world? We also got to the dried chili section. I never knew there were so many types of dried chilies! I couldn’t even think how to cook with them – soak them? Grind them? It boggled my mind!
The next section was the flower section. The whole section smelled as if you walked in to a wedding (or a funeral). They had roses of all colors, baby’s breath, floral designs that were meant for a wedding or funeral.
The last section was the clothing/shoes section. We had been in the market for over an hour and were getting bored/claustrophobic, so we didn’t stay long. We decided to go to the Zocalo, or public square. On the way there we passed a guy selling sunglasses for 50 pesos (roughly $4.50). David had broken his Ray Bans while packing to move from Guanajuato. We asked the guy in our very broken Spanish if he had any Ray Bans. We ended up getting a very ‘stylin’ pair of “Ray Bans” for 50 pesos!
It was quite warm when we got to the Zocalo, so we sat in the cool shade for about 10 minutes or so. Here’s a tip for anyone who finds oneself in the Zocalo and you’re hungry. Go to the bandstand in the center of the Zocalo. There are stairs going down. Under the stairs, there’s about 5-8 torta stands. They charge 12 pesos($1) for a fully loaded torta! You can’t beat that!
After eating our ridiculously cheap lunch, David decided he needed his shoes shined. There are several stands surrounding the Zocalo, apparently all owned by the city. For less than $3 US, David got a SUPER shiny pair of shoes!
Our last stop was at a Mercado off the Zocalo. I was interested in a bottle of wine. I found David over on the other end of the store looking at Cuban cigars. He bought what they said was a Cuban cigar, although, for the price, we’re sure it was a Mexican cigar.
It was a lot of fun going to market Saturday. Perhaps next weekend we’ll go to an even bigger one that’s rumored to have people in the thousands!
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