18 April 2007

Imagine This: Los Mercados del Eje1

You have to decide a good day in a half ahead of time to sufficiently prepare for the Eje 1 because the half block walk from Bellas Artes Metro to the Markets is definitely not enough time to prepare yourself for the barrage of people, shouts, Cd's, DVDs, toys, electronics, food, drinks, clothes, belts, anything and everything in the world. It hits you without warning.

On a daily basis there are no less than 200 vendors on the street alone starting at a 7/11 or OXXO, who knows really, you can't pay attention to what's being sold in the buildings until at least the third time around because you'll miss something or someone on the street.

The sound slaps you across the ears without warning "Qué buscabas, amiga? Te damos precio, sol....." (What were you looking for, friend? We'll give you a good price, jus.....) "Qué buscabas amiga, tenemos discos, electrónicas, todo lo que neces....." (what were you looking for, friend? We have disks, electronics, everything you nee.....) but you move on too quickly, avoiding eye contact.

You march by in line, unable to move anything other than your head and legs, your arms are only useful for grabbing at possible purchases. Sometimes (and quite unwittingly) a vendor touches your arm or pats you on the back, begging for your attention. Before you can shrug him off or flash him the eye, you hear "Qué buscabas...."

Just as you start to think you can handle this, you notice that there's way too much to see in just an hour....or even two for that matter. And once you see that there are markets within the street market (that is to say, there are also markets inside a series of buildings) the day and a half you spent preparing for this trip seems to have been in vain.

So you walk into a building at random that happens to be the Technology market. Suddenly you almost can't breath. The air is heavy, moist, the heat a few degrees higher than the already sweaty weather outside. The jammed corridors make moving slow and unsteady, playing into the vendor's game plan. They grab at you and are now able to finish their sentences: "Qué buscabas, amiga. Te damos precio, solo hay que preguntar". And suddenly you realize the second level. How is it, you ask yourself, that these people can even make money? They all sell relatively the same products at the same general price and there seem to be millions of the same person over and over repeating the same thing into your ear. Sure some compliment you, some wink or smile widely but they are still the same person with the same product in the same place as the others.

Your nerves overwhelm you as you start to see clones, people, DVDs, computers, everything is a clone. Before you suffocate you escape the building only to run straight into a cloned computer program vendor. Begging pardon, you move from the sidewalk closer to the street and suddenly the fresh smell of car pollution hits you.....heck, at this point, anything other than clones flashing at you and begging you to buy is a god send!!!

1 comment:

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