MOST EVERY weekday morning, the two of us walk six laps (20 minutes) around the neighborhood plaza. It’s fairly routine with the exception of Thursdays when there’s a mercado set up there. People selling stuff. Free enterprise. Capitalism!
Thursday is the best day for our power walks because there’s not simply exercise on the plate but lots of fun stuff to gawk at.
Two of my favorites are the pigskins being boiled in a big tub of oil. It smells like my childhood at my maternal grandparents’ farm in southwest Georgia way over half a century ago. The other favorite, though it’s a bit grim, are the flopping fishes.
A woman sells fresh fish — you know they’re fresh because many are flopping — atop a cloth she spreads on the sidewalk. No matter the hour we do our walk, some of those fish are flopping about, wondering where the water went.
Some flop right off the cloth.
There are lots of other things to see. Women set up small stands and sell stuff to eat, hot grub over charcoal fires. (Charcoal smoke always reminds me of Haiti.) Others spread cloth on the sidewalk and display used clothing, some obviously quite used.
This invariably slows down my child bride’s power walk because for her clothing for sale — especially if it’s cheap — is like catnip to a feline.
No matter. I keep going, and she eventually catches up.
There are two large stands of lovely fruit and veggies. You can find nicer, fresher merchandise there than you usually encounter in the supermarket. There’s also a fellow who sells cheese, just cheese. He arrives in a white truck.
Yes, Thursdays are the fun walks. The other days are just pedestrian events.
But we bought a mango today which, when combined with onion slices and some magic sauce my child bride makes, creates a very nice salad, which will complete the Greek garlic chicken I made yesterday in the crockpot for today’s lunch.
Life moves along for better or worse, usually better.