Friday, April 27, 2007

Trip to the La Penita Tianguis/Street Market

I went to the tianguis, the street market, in La Penita this morning. La Penita is the next town south of Las Varas, and during the tourist season it’s filled with gringos. I haven’t been there since last December, so it was kind of startling to see how empty the plaza was. There were many a dozen vendors selling tourist-type stuff. And it was pretty empty of gringo tourists too. I got there about 8am, and there were only local people around, but as I was leaving an hour later, some gringos were starting to show up.I am amazed how accustomed I have become to darker skins and brown eyes. Gringo’s look sort of pale and unhealthy to me now. Blue eyes do too. There is a older man from Zaculpan (about 10 miles from Las Varas) who rides the combi to Chacala sometimes. He is 78 of so, and looks kind of like Paul Newman. Blue eyes and all. He looks so unusual in a small Mexican town. He likes me taking photos of him, and then I usually I make a print for him. I don’t know what he does with them.Anyway, I was looking for some cheap photo albums. I have been taking lots of photos of a couple of little girls here, so their grandmother can send them to their Mother, who is in the U. S. right now. I have enough photos to make a little album for the older girl’s birthday next week. And I though I would make another one for the littler girl. I found some albums for 10 pesos each, (90 cents). I am wondering how the humidity and the plastic photo sleeves will interact. I guess this is an experiment. How photos last in a humid climate, I mean.I also wandered around a little, and visited the woman at the Hammock Shop. She is originally from Egypt, and lots of fun to talk with. Went over to the new Jaime and Hinde restaurant and left some hardback books there. And traded for a couple of paperbacks and a new Smithsonian magazine. Went to the internet place to check on reservations and bought a large Jasmine vine for 30 pesos (2.70US).The woman selling the Jasmine vine has a vivero/nursery at her house in Las Ayalos, and she drew me a map, so I could come visit. I think I will. It would be three or four combi rides each way, but I think it would be interesting. I caught a collectivo back to Las Varas. There were 18 of us in the combi. Luckily I was in the front, with the driver, a large woman, and her 8 year old boy. And my bag and the Jasmine plant. My personal record for surviving a crowded collectivo ride is 23 people, including 8 smaller children and babies. I was in the very back of the bus that time. I was afraid I was got to have a claustrophia attack. Or something.I went to the Kodak place in Las Varas, and Samuel printed up a CD of photos I made last night. It was all the photos I still have of the two little girls I wanted to make albums for.Then, while we were waiting for the Chacala combi, I started putting the albums together, and everyone helped me with the photos. Passing them around, commenting, etc. I was very fun for me. And I think the little albums came out okay. If the grandmother seems to like the little albums I might make one for her too. With all her grandchildren who are around Chacala.
Later: I took the photo albums down to the girls, and I think they were really a hit. And the grandmother and aunts liked them too. I am taking photos of the girls with their various relatives, to add to the albums. I have one more album, and I am going to make one for the girl's little cousin, who are next door. I am pleased with how they turned out, but I am kind of worried about the humidity and plastic, etc. We'll see.

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