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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Sticks and Tin and Plastic


You are probably wondering by now if I am ever going to write about the famous outdoor markets. How am I ever going to describe them to you? Can you imagine several acres of structures put together with sticks with coverings of tin or plastic? Can you? Well, I didn't really think so, but that's what I saw. And no, they wasn't just a shanty here and there, but they were CROWDED together with narrow, dirt alleyways in between. Not that you'd have much opportunity to notice the uneven terrain beneath your feet because there is so much else to gaze upon. I've expounded upon the people, people everywhere so you can just take it for granted it's the same here. For some reason I got the impression that the locals were either happy and smiling, showing their gleaming white teeth, or very sad. None of this impassive, distracted-by-business cares look. We saw lots of piggy-backed babies wrapped in shawls, of course, and many, if not most of the women wore wigs. There were beggars, here, to, of course. Did I tell you already about the little guy with pleading eyes who I let finish my pineapple drink? I was amused that he spit out the first swallow. Probably didn't want to get 'white man's germs,' but was touched that he shared it with his little friends. 

 An explosion of colors bombards the eyes
   s.  Rolls and rolls of vibrant material was available in many shops. Heaps of peanuts, mounds of tomatoes and other fruits, high stacks of egg cartons, dried fish, squawking chickens, well you name it. I saw one chicken hanging upside down in the hand of a young girl, so innocently oblivious to the fact that it was heading for the stew pot. What else did I see? Would you believe techie stuff was really quite popular, especially cell phones?  I wouldn't have been quite so impressed, perhaps if later a friend told me of the total absence of such devises in Cuba. My, how can a person communicate properly in an area where the main mode of travel is by foot, if you can't at least try to reach someone on a cellphone? Okay, okay, I can almost see your amused expression and yes, I know they did it for thousands of years, but hey things happen. Someone is caught in a  lightning storm, miles from their village, a bike tire goes flat, well you name it. If it was your loved one, wouldn't you want to know what's keeping them so long?
I keep forgetting to check my notes. Hold on a sec while I see what I am missing. I had to studiously avoid the many cries of "mama" or "sister" partly because I wouldn't understand their language anyway, but mainly because I didn't want to disappoint them by admiring, yet not purchasing any of their pretty trinkets (or whatever.)
I think I had better 'slide" into home base now if I want to get this posted before it's time to leave the library.

Boah no-i-tah (Good night)
P.S. My pictures are never exactly what I saw, but as accurate as I could find on the internet. 
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