Wednesday, July 15, 2009

El Mercado Principal

So yesterday I went to school to find the greatest surprise, we were going on a "cultural field trip" to El Mercado Principal, a huge center for shopping traditional ingredients, crafts, and art. Our assignment for the day was to watch the gestures of the people in El Mercado: how they dress, how they show emotion on their face, how they interact with acquaintances, friends, family, strangers.

Honestly, I couldn't stop looking at the fantastic colors and the seemingly endless rows of shops. I felt like a little girl, such a small person in such a large place. There were shoe stores, wine shops, pottery stands, food stands, an heladeria, a pasteleria, jewelry stores, grocers... EVERYTHING.

It reminded me of the Global Market, except on acid. It was so bright, there were amazingly bright colors everywhere that you looked. The rows were very narrow, and all of the small shops were packed together as tight as they possibly could be.

The food court was so loud with the sounds of blenders, friends laughing, and sellers advertising their wares. There was even a drink, a smoothie, that was made with fruit, milk, liquor, raw quail and chicken eggs, and the juice of a BULL'S EYE. Apparently, it is supposed to increase virility. I am not sure I really need to work on virility, so I passed on it. Probably not the best thing for a still gurgling stomach.

I did however buy some beautiful earrings made from nut shells in the art gallery. I love them, I've worn them for the past two days.

A few hours there was certainly not enough time. I am looking forward to having some time off in the days ahead to go back and check it out again. Hopefully I can have a little more time to explore alone, or with some friends, and see what else I can find. I do know that I didn't even see a fraction of what they have there, I have only scratched the surface.

However, when I explore more, I will let you know.

Chau America, Te Amo.

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