You will always remember a place that tickles all the senses at one location, be it smell, taste, touch, sight or, sound.
A place where you can witness the day to day life of the people and, be entertained for hours.
Venturing into the Central Market of San Pedro was the place. It’s purpose, to provide the freshest products for the locals. Hidden among the aisles, a large number of stalls host entire sections dedicated exclusively to fruit, vegetables, meat, spices, maze, natural remedies, exotic products, and the like.
You knew the spice that overpowered all the rest but kept you guessing which one. Each one combed into a cone shape inside an old coal sized sack or smaller portions sized out into cellophane packaging.
Likewise the different types of maze corn cobs – again, some were whole and some were kernelled into piles.
Every part of whole beasts having been butchered were on display. Right down to the front teeth and mouth. Featherless chickens lay stacked in a pile just along from the two lifeless pig carcasses waiting to be dissected into eatable portions. Minced meat and sausages shared the same counter. There was no coverage nor refrigeration for any of the meat. The swirl of flies glistening in the suns rays must have been in paradise confused at what to feed on first.
The smell of food being prepared by the ladies with the secrets that only they know teased the nostrils and we sat down to eat a bowl of chicken soup with noodles and pickled vegetables. It was delicious. It also allowed us some conversation time with a young American girl who shared her tales of traveling solo for three weeks. She worked in the Chinese relations area and isn’t certain about her future given the repercussions from tweets from a person not worth mentioning. Being off the grid had some consolation moments, giving us a tip to definitely take and wear layers where we were heading.
I gave her one – drink a can coke every three days to flush out your system and you won’t get sick. Immediately leaving the market, we headed to the supermarket directly across the road and did just that ourselves. It was day three for us!
We had consumed a pineapple, orange and prickly pear fruit drink made fresh on our arrival to the market. Should be okay. Even if the lady behind the counter washing the vessel in the bucket using water straight from the tap. It didn’t deter us neither.
Time will tell.
Claire bartered for a small change purse, something locally iconic, not too big. A reminder that we had visited that left a grin on the dial long after we lost the tickled senses.
Tomatoes and avocado for tomorrow’s breakfast. Directly from the San Pedro Market.