Before I even got to the market I saw some women using their traditional means of carrying around everything from babies to sacks of corn. I thought about cropping both of these photos but I decided I loved the surrounding scenery so much that I left them the way they were. Besides, if I'd cropped the first one, you wouldn't have gotten the bonus of the guy picking his nose. If you look closely at the upper left corner of that first one you'll see the traditional laundry for houses here. On the roof there is a washing machine (or a sink with a scrub board built in) and clothes lines. Closer in are apartments above the stores on the main floor. The one directly in front of the women is closed, I'm guessing because it's Sunday but it could just be that they opened late or closed early. At any rate, I love the mini-balconies for the apartments. The traffic cones are there because that's a taxi stand. I have one about a block from my apartment. This one is a few blocks from there.
Getting back to the women and their packs, They're wearing traditional clothing. The skirts are generally black or navy blue and lined with white. They wrap around at the waist and are fastened with a colorful best that wraps around the waist 2 or 3 times. I suspect there is another fastening under that but back in the day, it was just the best. One of these days I'll do my best to get a photo of one of the women from the front where you will have a way to actually see what they're wearing. Today I was more interested in capturing their packs.
This is the park that's just a block from my apartment. Isn't it lovely? I'll have to see if I can get a better photo of it. This was a pretty spontaneous shot just because I wanted to show you a baby carrier.
|Carrying the Baby|
On a blog a friend of mine just introduced me to, the author (she also lives in Cotacachi) takes photos of the things she buys at market to show her readers just what she's getting. I probably won't do that all the time but I thought it might be fun to try it today and maybe someday when I'm totally out of fruits and vegetables and go a bit nuts. Hmmm, I haven't seen nuts at the market. I'll have to ask about that.
- 6 bananas -- 25 cents
- 2 large tomatoes -- 50 cents
- 8 medium onions, trimmed and cleaned -- 50 cents
- 2 very large zucchini -- 50 cents
- 1 pound leeks -- 42 cents (I got those at the regular grocery store because the ones at the market just didn't look great)
- 1 1/2 small salad sized zucchini -- 25 cents
- 1 small bell pepper -- free (she threw that in with the little zucchini just because)
- 9 chorizo (non-spicy sausages) -- $2.50
- 3 pounds short ribs -- $3.00
- 1 hand made basket -- $4.00
Fair warning--the next photo may be somewhat offensive or bothersome to some folks. It's the way the butcher shop advertised that he sells beef. You may want to slide past it quickly but I thought it was fascinating. There are other vendors who have the first 18" or so of the cow's front legs but this one was something I hadn't seen before.
|Let me know if you need an explanation|
While I was there, I stopped for lunch at the market's equivalent of a food court. Each of the openings under the roof are individual food sellers. My favorite is the one that sells Carne Colorado, literally translated as red meat. I don't know what spices they use on it but it is, indeed, red but it isn't at all spicy, just flavorful. It comes with 5 or 6 small potatoes that are pre-cooked but are then grilled nice and crisp on the outside. It also comes with one of the many varieties of corn that doesn't appeal greatly to me but that's fine. Oh, and it's topped off with two fried eggs. It's more than filling. Today I was famished and finished the whole thing but last time I ended up taking half of it home and having it for dinner that night.
There are no disposable dishes. Each place has a fairly distinctive pattern or style of dishes and the employees for each vendor collects the ones that belong to them.
My favorite food stall to look at is the one that sells pork. It's served in a bowl with juice from the pork, potatoes, and hominy. There's also a piece of freshly fried pork rind on top. There's no mistaking this booth:
And then, at the very end of my shopping, I saw these adorable kids riding around on little motorized vehicles that were for rent by the fellow under the canopy. I couldn't resist catching them on "film."