Monday, May 23, 2016

The market of Granada

This is Elise.  How to describe el mercado (market)?  If you have never been to a third world market there is no way to adequately describe it.  The chaos, the congestion, the narrow maze of aisles selling all kinds of goods, the smell, the uneven pavement, it all can combine to sensory overload.  This is the furthest shopping experience you can have from an American supermarket.  So why would I go there when there are two perfectly good supermarkets in Granada.  At first, I just went to see what was available there and what it was like.  Now I go because it is by far the cheapest place to buy produce.  I can buy a big bunch of mint there for 5 cordobas.  Gotta have mint for mojitos, right?  I have not been brave enough to purchase meat there.  I walked past one particularly putrid stall selling some kind of meat and nearly threw up.  The flies were having a party at that stall and the stray dogs hung out in hungry anticipation.  As I waited a few feet away for Mike to go back and take pictures of the mystery meat stall, one of the vendors asked me in English how to say the name of the herb I was carrying. "Mint", I said.  He said in Spanish it's yerba buena.  Good to know since I had been calling it menta.  You never know who can speak English around here. He was really nice and showed us where to buy the green onions that we were looking for.
I never feel unsafe walking through the mercado but I am aware that anytime there are a lot of people in close proximity, there is the potential for pickpockets.  I only carry as much money as I need and my $13 cell phone.  Someone could steal my whole purse and it wouldn't be any big loss to me.

Entering the mercado

Salsas in all forms are sold by the scoop full here.

Produce vendors and patrons tightly packed in the narrow pathways.

Room temperature chicken meat and innards for sale at a good price, the stench though is priceless.

The trash area was another bloody mess with beef, pork and chicken blood congealing on the floor making it a breathtaking event when walking past.

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