The enormous tianguis (farmers’ market) happens in Tlacolula on Sundays. Ten times (or more) the size of Llano’s delicious adventure, there is too much too see here. I don’t even pretend that I’ll be able to scratch the surface. Instead, I find places to sit, as those selling vegetables, fruits, bridles, boots, hats, sweets, rat poison, matches, flashlights, denim, hand-woven tapestries, and flowers often do. Of course, there are mobile vendors, such as the man carrying a stack of birdcages filled with bright noise and those selling hammocks (because they have to be displayed), and the people who are cooking the beautiful oily red pots of goat or roasting whole chickens.
Sitting outside of a restaurant (why would someone go to a restaurant when she could eat in this market?) on a cool step in the shade, I watched a man cut a chicken just out of the roaster into six quick pieces. It smelled so good, I wondered if I should move. I just clicked away at the camera, snapping anything coming my direction.
Earlier, as I had staked out places to people-watch, I noticed the bags that many of the women carry, colorful woven bags, were not only great to pack with their purchases, but they were effective, in the crowded aisles, for nudging into the backs of the legs of slow-moving pedestrians. I politely pulled over a couple of times to avoid a more insistent message.
I also huddled in the shade outside the church. I sat opposite a man selling hats. His operation was largely unsuccessful because he did not have a mirror for people to see how attractive they looked in his very affordable hats. I wanted to tell him that, but I figured he probably already knew.
A man sitting next to me purchased two bamboo cups from a lady who was insistent about her prices. She could tell he liked her suggesting of serving beer in these tall containers. He gave in. Fifty-five pesos for both was not such a bad deal anyway.
A girl next to me was eating an orange otter pop, but she really wanted water. Her grandfather told her to have more of the orange liquid, saying it was pure water. She and I both looked at him to ask who he thought he was kidding. He smiled.
On the bus ride home, the man collecting money got so close to my face, I blushed. I think he was looking at my eye color. I didn’t ask. The man sitting next to me was a painter who spends the weekends drawing caricatures on the zocalo; he was on the way there, and, as I hopped off the bus, he said he’d see me around.