Monday, March 28, 2011
One of the fun things to do at tinaguis is to shop the used clothing stalls. (I still think the BEST place to shop for used clothing is the Thrift Store in Columbus, Ohio! Man 'o man do they ever have great stuff!) Twenty years ago this market was 99% food vendors. Today it's about 40% vegetables, fruits and other foodstuffs. The rest is new and used (seminuevo) clothing. I don't have that much patience as a rule, but today I ran into Chuy who pointed me to a new stall that had things piled on tables, much of it new, under a sign 10 pesos cada una. That was too good to pass up. I have found some great buys from time to time and since my luck at dominoes has been so terrible, I thought perhaps my shopping mojo might be working. I plunged right in and came up with three items, all different sizes but all seem to fit. There is no place to try anything on so it's always a bit iffy. But if nothing fit I would just recycle it and someone else can pay 10 pesos!
First treasure was this pair of black/white checked shorts. I tend to get into a khaki or white rut here; these are a snazzy update to the tattered shorts collection.
Next, yet another pair of khaki shorts, but these are new, the cuffs aren't frayed, and there are no food stains on the front. I can now toss a couple pair of really disreputable pants.
My third purchase was a pair of khaki trousers, perfect for the cool valley when we get home but much too warm for here. Good for traveling, too. For a total of 30 pesos, about $2.60, I have three new garments to see me through the rest of the season here.
Down to another stall. Here I found a great pair of Capri pants in what I thought was black/white check but turns out to be navy/white. No problem. They were, however, a more expensive purchase; 25 pesos alone.
The gringos always wonder if they are paying the same prices as are the locals. I found out today that sometimes they are not. I saw a red short sleeved T-shirt I wanted. I asked the vendor how much. 50 pesos, he said. I balked, put it back and moved on. When I saw Chuy I asked her to see how much he might charge her. 40 pesos. I asked her to buy it for me. Now I realize that 10 pesos isn't much; 85¢ at today's exchange rate. But it's the principle of the thing. I don't like being taken advantage of just because I'm not Mexican. He got his 40 pesos and I got my shirt and saved myself 10 pesos.
Among the other things I bought from my vegetable man was this gorgeous bunch of chard. It's on the menu for dinner.