Friday, March 14, 2008

Market Day

In Oaxaca, every day is market day, you just have to go to the right neighborhood. Mercado de Abastos hops on Friday and Saturday, the same days for El Pochote. In my hick neighborhood of San Felipe del Agua, there's a small mercado in front of the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And, unfortunately, every day is a potential Gigante day. It is the bane of my existence that we find ourselves shopping at a big boring supermarket at least once a week, rather than going to the cheaper and better little markets. How else to score diapers, milk, yogurt smoothies, school clothes, whatnot in one fell swoop? I keep promising myself that, once the kids are older, we will shift to the market model.

This morning, I sensed the potential of Gigante approaching. So I begged Steve to walk with me to the neighborhood fruit and veggie guy before we headed home. I knew I couldn't walk all the heavy purchases up the side of the mountain without him.

He's on Calle Jacarandas, right after our favorite pizza place, Mambo Italiano. He sings all day and calls all the women, "Mi Reina", My Queen. Whenever I ask him what a particular exotic item might be, he tells me, "marijuana". It's funny for everyone in the shop every single time.

This morning, I was determined to get us enough produce to quell the Gigante demon. We tore the place up, scoring eight pears, 25 long-stemmed strawberries, a pineapple that smelled like sugar, five tiny beautiful zuchinnis, two onions, a bunch of bananas, two mangos, some unidentifiable wild-looking greens (perhaps...marijuana? I didn't dare ask.), lots of tomatoes, a chico zapote (untranslatable, as far as I know), a grapefruit the size of a small planet, and a bright bunch of squash flowers, perfect for soup. When the guy said 80 pesos (about $7.50) for the lot of it, I felt like singing with him. Then I got home and realized we're out of diapers...and toothpaste...and sunscreen. The spectre returns.

4 comments:

Deborah said...

This article has been published in the latest edition of Mom's Blogging Carnival

Hola, I'm JMac: said...

I loved reading this, mizz Serena!

Serena said...

Gracias, Jmac! It's sad but true. Actually, I think I'll head to the neighborhood market right now.

Jenny said...

great post.