Sunday Is Market Day

Sunday is Market Day!

market day4  It started at 7am with groups of Andes Huichol dressed in beautiful Sunday best scurrying    past my window, headed for the market/food court/bus stop which is next to my building.  And yes! there are Huichol men living here.  Since the women run the shops, I imagine they’ve  been running the farms, leather factories, flower nurseries when I don’t see them during the  week. And I didn’t say “working in” because these are prosperous people, with nice clothes,  and cars and who own much of the town.

They were dressed in bright white slacks and  lovely  navy woolen capes and  black hats,  all in  a hurry to get somewhere.  The women have  navy  skirts and white  embroidered blouses  today.  About 8am the bus left for Otavalo; I think  they  must all be off to  perform in the   marketplace there.  Meanwhile everyone was running  outside my window,  cars, taxis and  bicycle carts were rattling by at speed.  People were  running towards the  market with empty  containers and running home again with huge clumps  of greens, bunches of flowers, bags of potatoes, oranges and pineapples.

Bicycle carts loaded  with produce and matrons were thumping by at speed. Carloads of families were parking on my street and rushing off to the market.  Busloads of people leaving for other towns.   The wind was up, a cloud cover on the  mountains, turquoise and dark blue  strands of sky and cloud overhead.  Pairs of expats with shopping carts. baskets or bags were the only leisurely strollers.

Did I mention everything is a dollar here?  Its a giant whole country dollar general store.  Bags of potatoes, 10 eggs, bag of toilet paper, chunk of butter (which seems to be hard ghee), bowl of soup, glass of fresh juice, bag of oranges, bag of peas, bag of giant corn kernels, new broom, bag of milk: everything is always a dollar. They have dollar coins printed in US which appear to be United States money, though we don’t have those.  Its a challenge to have dollars to pay with, and they don’t complain or refuse larger bills but they have to go somewhere to change your $10.  Too bad the ATM doesn’t just pour out $1.00 coins!  It really separates the estranjeros from the locals, because all the locals are in commerce and have an endless supply of one dollar coins, while we are circulating $10s and (horror!) $20s.

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I stood at the window and wondered.  I’ve been here a week, but sick with a cold kind of flu, holed up in my mostly empty apartment, and just wandering out once a day to buy a thermos of chicken and herb soup from the friendly old lady at the food court. Maybe a storm was on its way?   Does anyone go to those big Catholic churches?  Are they rushing off to family dinners?    I was tired again, so lay on the couch as the flute music began.  Oh lovely, I just floated out into the sky, the music so like a bird navigating the air currents around the Andean peaks.

 

By noon the fuss was over and the street returned to its normal traffic flow.  (These are not my pictures, so thanks to whoever took them, but they are of Cotacachi)

market day 2

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market day

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