This is my favorite Christmas thing: Bethlehem imagined as rural Mexico ~
I desperately wanted this objet d'art, but foolishly spent all my money on food, so didn't go back and get it. Art historians amongst us will recognize this theme as the famous "Temptation of St. Anthony", although the vendor told me it was "temptation of a hermit". Is it not the best?
And now for something completely dreadful. This has always been a major part of the market, with stalls on both sides of the wide street that is used by vehicles. The white building is a supermarket, for heaven's sakes! The regular market today stopped abruptly at this mountain range of garbage. The smell was pretty awful and it wasn't a hot day. I asked the poor vendor whose spot butted up to the stinking mound what the deal was, & she said she didn't know why it was there, but that it was quite unpleasant for her.
The mess was too big to capture completely with my camera ~
Last Edit: Jan 5, 2016 18:08:19 GMT by bixaorellana: corrected picture sequence
Why is it that the food and smiling sellers look so much more attractive than those toys? Frankly, those colours and cheap plastic are so ugly. I would avoid that part of the market and just buy fruit.
I hope Oaxaca doesn't have a garbage strike like in Beirut or Naples.
Why is it that the food and smiling sellers look so much more attractive than those toys? Frankly, those colours and cheap plastic are so ugly. I would avoid that part of the market and just buy fruit. I could not avoid that part of the market as I was there specifically to record it for this report, although of course I availed myself of produce while there. As for the ugly colors and cheap plastic -- eye of the beholder and little kids are not known for their high level of aesthetic appreciation. They are known for seeing things on tv and wanting them for Three Kings day. Brand name toys, usually imported, can be shockingly expensive. I think this kind of market serves an important purpose in allowing people of limited means to make sure their children get something for Three Kings. There are lots of knock-off toys -- a fake My Little Pony castle and copycats of Fisher-Price, for instance -- which will probably make the kids happy and not break the bank for the parents.
I hope Oaxaca doesn't have a garbage strike like in Beirut or Naples. Oh, they have had some lengthy garbage strikes since I've lived here, and very unpleasant they are. There is the delight of hoarding your home garbage, plus going out on the street to see that people have placed garbage on the pickup route even though there is no pickup. One year when it was really hot and there was a strike, the Abastos market was a real horror. The entire length was taken up by a continuous pile like the one in my picture. It was sprinkled with powdered lime, but the stench and flies were just awful. The vendors along the edges of it weren't allowed to change their places, so they had to either stay home and make no money, or sit there with watering eyes trying to keep the flies off.
And here I thought you'd finished this report! Wonderful, colorful produce pictures. I love those. Oh honey ~ it ain't over till the fat lady runs out of pictures. Thank you!
I'm confused and the after Christmas market. I'd have thought there would have been a big push to sell all that junk those lovely toys BEFORE the holidays. It is STILL the holidays here. The tradition is not for Santa, although he has made inroads, but for the three kings to bring presents to all the good girls and boys. You undoubtedly know that today, January 6, is Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the Magi (aka Three Kings) to the baby Jesus. In Oaxaca, what we call Christmas season is referred to as "Juquila--Reyes", meaning the period from December 8 (Juquila, aka Immaculate Conception) to January 6 (Tres Reyes Magos).
The garbage is yuck. I could almost smell it from your description. Um, thanks? Remember that your intrepid reporter stood there taking pics & interviewing the vendor. Really, no thanks are necessary. (she said modestly)
Today should be the day that I wrap up this report. I am going downtown & maybe something photo-worthy will jump out in front of me. In the meantime, I offer these two little efforts. The first was posted on a New Orleans site, as New Orleans also observes the king cake tradition. The second one I took yesterday in the park from a distance. I almost discarded it when I saw how blurry it was, but then noticed the eyeball direction of the Magi.
And now it's time to wrap this seasonal thread up. I went out in the afternoon to meet a friend for coffee, so got some pictures downtown, then a few more later when I took the dogs for their walk. This earlier afternoon bunch is from the street running in front of the downtown market, a block off the main square. Here are the stars of the day ~
But you don't have to eat cake. There are plenty of other food choices ~
Mass-produced toys have not completely taken over. There are still traditional ones to be found ~
Heading home, I pass through the alameda -- the big open area in front of the cathedral ~
A little later, I head out again with the dogs for their constitutional. After they run around loose for a while, they get leashed up again & we proceed down Alcalá, passing through the expo-venta in its final hours. Here is a little more in the way of traditional toys ~
Returning, it's dusk and I finally get pictures of the tinwork decorations on Carmen Alto. So, ending this thread with the same church shown on Christmas day, I wish all of you a lovely twelfth night and a beautiful, happy 2016.