Every week ordinary Mexicans and ordinary Gringos go to the huge market that is set up above the town. I always marvel at how this vast emporium is put up and taken down all in one day. Want an axe handle, a Barbie,, sexy underwear, second-hand clothing, fresh,and,tasty fruits and vegetables? Get on that bus at the square and enjoy the bumpy, chugging ride up the steep streets of San Miguel until you come to the market. But wait, there’s construction up on the hill and this morning to my consternation, the bus sailed on past the site and sped along, through narrow streets and then back onto the highway until I was sure I would end up in the next town, 40 miles away! An aged grandmother with a large walking stick had taken the seat next to me and the bus was so bumpy that I hesitated to make her get up so that I could ask the ticket taker if we were on the right road. But then how would I ask him and how would I understand the answer? I gazed out at a burned landscape punctuated with large cacti and waited to see what would happen. ( It is tax time and if fields are not ” clean” people pay a higher tax. ). I think the idea is that fires should not start. Hmm! Logic?
Anyway I resisted the impulse to jump out into the wasteland and to my joy the driver suddenly made a U turn at a big hotel and the sign announcing the city limits of San Miguel hove into view. There I was with the little old lady getting off in front of me, her hair braided down in a grey roap and her apron unbuttoned in back.
The market was the usual cheerful chaos. Even at 10 am, Mexicans were seriously digging into the cooked foods, particularly what looked like delicious soup. It was unusually windy and that played havoc with the big coloured tarps that are strung up over the stalls. They protect from the sun but the pink and orange filtering the strong rays make it impossible to see what color garment one is buying. The flapping made me feel I was in a galleon carrying Mexico along to her fate. The plastic sheets were like huge sails and the vendors struggled to get control of them and to stop the wind carrying away their goods.
The kids were out in force. It was aschool day but there were a lot of youngsters “helping” or crawling around under the tables, getting lost or selling mysterious things out of plastic bags.
There are no San Miguel souvenirs at the Tuesday market, just people getting on with their daily lives. I resisted the impulse to buy a pair of spurs, gathered up my bundles and headed for the bus bound for “Centro”. Last Tuesday Market for at least a years. Other adventures to enjoy at home.