I went to the market today to get groceries for the next couple of weeks. I don't mind going to the market more often than that but it's simpler to get a little more and just pick up the odds and ends in between. I mention this because I was a little annoyed that I'd spent $25 on two week's worth of groceries--uh, that's half a month. I'm serious about the two weeks thing, too. Sure, I'll pick up a few things between now and the beginning of May--mostly dinner rolls that I get daily but that's between 12 and 25 cents a day. Oh, and a liter or two of milk and some eggs. That's still less than $20 a week. That makes me very happy.
I tried to take photos at the market but without spending a lot more time and using my tripod, etc., there was no way to get a decent photo of the overall market to show you. I did get a pretty good shot of the cheese merchant with a customer. The fellow doing the selling is shorter than me by and inch or two (so he's about 5' 5" or so). The man buying the cheese is by no means the shortest adult I've seen around here. I just never cease to be amazed at their small stature.
Since I wasn't able to get any decent photos of the place, I found a site with a much more patient photographer, and one who knew how to get the camera to do nice things. You can see all the great photos here: http://blog.pro-ecuador.com/?p=332
The first photo is the stand where I get almost all my fresh vegetables. When I first got here, Sheila told me this woman's prices are the same for locals and gringos. That's not always true.
The second photo shows the Cotacachi version of a food court. Each of the openings you see at the very back of the photo is a restaurant. The blog post this comes from is two years old and the prices have increased. Today I had Carne Colorado, several small fried potatoes, a bit of salad, a generous slice of avocado, and a fried egg over the whole thing for $2. I couldn't eat all of it there so I brought the rest home--it will be dinner with perhaps the addition of a dinner roll or something. By the way, I was expecting Carne Colorado to be spicy but when I asked, she assured me it wasn't. She was even nice enough to give me a taste. It was wonderful! It has a lovely flavor that is rich and full without being spicy. They provide a bowl of something spicy to put on it if you want but I decided not to. I was happy with it just the way it was.
The next two photos give you an idea of the variety of food available. Oh, and that cabbage isn't even one of the biggest ones I've seen. Sheila saw one that was filling up one of the plastic lawn chairs--really, it was that big. I got a "small" one today and it's about 10-12" across.
Scrolling further down, I haven't seen the Sabilia cart but I'll start looking for it. The last photo shows the variety of beans and grains available at the market. I even got my oatmeal there today.
Well, now I think I'm going to go make something for dinner. I have so many choices I don't know what to make but I'm sure I'll think of something--and will probably include cabbage.
One little P.S. The last time I went to the market I walked there, did my shopping, and took a taxi home. Today i got a little carried away and wasn't paying attention to streets and walked about 4 blocks out of my way, went back those 4 blocks, shopped, and wondered why it was that I felt the need to take a taxi home last time. I mean I have my granny cart for Pete's sake so it's not like I have to carry anything heavy. I must be getting used to walking. Hurray!