Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Trade Center Flea Market

Last Saturday when my Dad was still here, we went to the indoor flea market called the Trade Center. I am not sure how Maggie was able to snap this picture because all I remember is masses of humanity! Anyhow, it's in a huge building. We were one of the few non-Mexican folks there.
One of the vendors sold spices. I found two interesting spices: Watermelon Spice and Fruit Cup Spice. The ingredients are the same: either salt and chili powder, or salt and lemon. As we were walking out the door, I saw a group of people with styrofoam cups of pineapple, with the salt and chili powder seasoning sprinkled on it. The childrens' faces were stained with the chili powder. Someday I'll have to be brave and try it!
The building is divided into squares, with each vendor owning a square. They hang chainlink fencing around when they're closed. Between the squares are the passageways which have names.

I took this picture because I was feeling a bit apprehensive. Twenty years ago I stayed at a hotel in Manila, Philippines, and I wondered at the time about the safety of the hotel because the hallways were narrow. They were only wide enough for one person. It was embarassing to pass someone. I mentally tried to plan what I would do if a fire broke out.

Sure enough, two weeks after I left, I heard on the news that the hotel did catch fire and burn to the ground. Four American navy wives lost their lives. So Saturday I was trying to keep my mind alert for any sign of trouble.
Here's a picture of a typical vendor and their fencing. It's hard to give you a sense of the crowded conditions. I can't believe we were able to take these pictures without showing wall to wall people! This is Enrique. My Dad has bought many things from him. On Saturday, Dad bought another saddle, then hats for my children. These are the saddles after we set them up at home:
Maggie and Allen enjoy using Dad's ropes to lasso the saddle horns. At the last moment he bought a vihuela. What is a vihuela?? It is a Mexican guitar that is played in mariachi bands. I was able to find a wonderful website with info on tuning and chords. All I need is a piano to tune it!
This is Enrique's store. His prices were excellent. Here is the vihuela:
One of the things that stuck out to me was the obvious resentment of the Native Americans. I saw several signs throughout that quoted Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe that said:

They made us many promises.
They kept one promise.
They promised to take our lands.
And they TOOK it!

It is as if this were 1891.

Outside the flea market are these ugly subs (or whatever they are). I took this picture because I think it reflects the typical Texan's attitude: If I want to put ugly orange subs in my front yard, I will! They seem to be fiercely independent around here and don't like anyone telling them what to do, whether it's wearing motorcycle helmets (none required!) or building codes (very little of those). You gotta love 'em!
We have a lot of fun fishing and swimming. Allen caught a fish yesterday, and I caught one today.
Sorry you are having such cool weather in Maryland. We are in the high 80s but a beautiful breeze. We keep the air conditioner set on 78 to keep the humidity out (82%), but keep the fans running. It's a perfect setup.

Maggie is doing well, lots of pain, but that's to be expected. We miss all our musical instruments back at home.

Today we went on base to the commissary and discovered very low prices. Very low. Also found our dairyfree butter that we are used to. So tonight we had salad and garlic bread for dinner.

Thank you for your prayers. Hope you are enjoying your week. Many blessings ~ Kathie

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