Expecting little excitement, I went to the Oaxaca Lending Library’s Bazaar today. When I arrived, people were crowded onto the sidewalk and across the busy street (Pino Suarez).

Half reminiscent of the old Mervyn’s commercials where a woman would stand in front of the closed department store and chant, “Open, open, open…” and half reminiscent of the ball drop on new year’s eve, the volunteers led the crowd in a count down from ten before the gates opened. And, on one shoppers flooded in and frantically searched for whatever it was they needed: dishes, t-shirts, bedding, electronics, art. I saw one man with a box of blue dishes, a woman with a lawnmower, a family with a trash bag full of clothing. I watched people trying on shoes and necklaces, scarves and jackets. I watched people trying to figure out what they might do with something that was only five pesos. And, I wanted to live in Oaxaca so I might need the pretty lamp, the green pottery bowl, the sturdy candleholders, the mostly orange and blue portrait of some dark-haired man I will never know.

I didn’t need anything, but I found a napkin holder with a sun on it (that will be nice for my patio), a flouncy purple skirt (I probably will never wear), turquoise earrings (clip-ons), and a small clay pot (quite possibly Chavin), human in shape but with animal features, reptilian eyes, and an odd expression (maybe I can use this for flowers — if it holds water).

There was also a bake sale. I tried a piece of cake. Billed as banana, it was apple (and equally delicious). I settled for a bit into the dining area under the shade of the carport to watch the closest thing to Christmas shopping I’ll see here in Oaxaca, and I was grateful that, even though it was crowded, it was friendly and warm.

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