photography, Reviews, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

It’s Tuesday: To market, to market to buy a blue suit; home again, home again, jiggety-scoot

I do not shop. I do not wander into stores and glide up and down aisles looking for just the right … thing. I don’t compare prices. I don’t compare similar products. I don’t read labels. I don’t calculate the savings between the Jumbo and Family sizes. I don’t clip coupons.

I buy local because I’m too lazy to walk to a cheaper store. I shop to survive, not to find pleasure.

But you don’t have to twist my arm to get me up the hill to the Tuesday Market.

I love the hustle and bustle. I love the jockeying for position at a tabletop clothing dump. I love to hear the shouts of “Barata! Barata! Barato!” and “Venta! Venta! Venta!” I love the smell of the food, the fish on ice, the produce, the fresh piles of strawberries. The piles of hardware and kitchenware and racks of hats, and row upon row of shoes, and … well, just name it, there’s a pile of it somewhere.

And such a deal I have for you.

Mostly, I like digging through mounds of clothing piled high atop long tables, in search of that one gem.

I thought I found one today, a gem, I mean.

It is a black T-shirt in my size and across the front, it says “New Jersey International Symphony.”

Wait.

No, it doesn’t.

Now that I look at it in the calm of my home, I realize that it says “New Jersey Intergenerational Symphony.”

Ooops. My bad.

Or maybe not.

The shirt is new. It fits. And anything coming out of New Jersey with seven syllables attached to it is sort of campy, in its own way. (Although, in Jersey, I’ll bet they can say “intergenerational” in five syllables or less.)

To be fair, I was thinking of the New Jersey Symphony which once bought a truckload of violins and other string instruments off a guy who later went to jail for tax fraud (unrelated). While the collection included several Stradivari and the orchestra got them at a market price of $17 million, the “angel” claimed a value of $59 million.

Anyhow, that’s another story — but it is the one I was thinking of when I saw the t-shirt.

Besides, it was $20 pesos. Such a deal.

I bought three other shirts — all with collars and brand new. I’ll spare you the description but I think they came to about $8.50 U.S.

Total. Not apiece.

That’s nothing. Last week, I picked up a distressed leather motorcycle jacket with zippered pockets, and a fleece-like lining for $100 pesos.

OK, not real leather. Distressed pleather, or whatever you call leather-like material. Looks real. And the jacket fits.

Now I need a similarly-priced motorcycle and a bad-boy attitude. Both of which I can probably pick up at the Tuesday Market.

Some day.

Whenever I go up there, my intent is to find a dark blue lightweight sportscoat with gold buttons in something like a 46-to-48-long. I don’t know, it is just an obsession. My white whale. But by following my obsession around the market, I discover lots of other stuff, that I mostly do not buy but just marvel at how freaking much of it there is up there.

Have you been up to the Tuesday Market since the Covid ban was lifted?

While we all hunkered down, the city covered all of the market in curved tin roofing. There are at least six enormous sections under soaring steel-trussed roofs — and no tarps, no tie-downs, and no supporting poles to trip over. My guess is that there is more than six football fields worth of space, packed end-to-end with commerce.

The super high ceilings relieve the claustrophobia but it does get crowded on the ground.

Be prepared to scrum for your deals.

I understand Sunday offers a smaller and less-crowded market at the same location, just east of Luciernaga mall and just past the main fire station.

The pictures are just a sampling. I didn’t set out to document a day in the marketplace but they give you an idea of the sheer volume of stuff you can pick through.

Enjoy.

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