eat your way through the market

The smell of fresh fruit is so inviting. I go inside the market, I buy a bag of apples and bargain the price, walk away happy. Papaya, pineapple, black and white grapes, huge watermelons. It’s all so colourful. It all looks mouth-watering. I love fruit. To convince you into buying, the vendors will hand you over a piece of papaya, or watermelon, they’ll say “I have the nicest, just arrived, taste it, taste it, senorita.”

When we were little, my brother and I used to take turns to go to the market with my grandmother. She is one strong-willed lady, I tell you. She’d be up everyday before sunrise, prepare breakfast for my grandfather, give him his insulin shot, dress him, read the newspaper to him, water the plants and get dressed herself. We had to join her by 7 o’clock. Still sleepy, we’d hop on a taxi. “The best things sell out early.” She was right.

There are areas of the market that I never liked, they smelled bad. Especially the meat section. It make me so sick, I’d hold my breath until we moved on to another section. Still though, I have sweet memories of those trips to the market. It was my one on one time with my grandmother, I had her all for myself. She’d hold my hand tightly, and smoothly move through the crowds. She had vendors that liked her, I watched her bargain the prices, argue, and carry heavy bags. She has eyes on the back of her neck.

These are some photos of two markets in Bolivia, the Central Market in Sucre, and a smaller market in Cochabamba. Supermarkets might offer a quick fix, but there’s nothing like a market with good and bad smells.

Camote (sweet potatoes), and fresh camomile.

Sucre’s central market is divided  in sections. At the meat section you can ask anything from the heart, the tongue to the kidneys. Yummy!

Soups, canned goods, oil, toilet paper, neatly organized. Pasta and rice are bought by the gram.