I went to the feria on a non Spanish day. By myself.
The thing is, the feria is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so if I didn’t go today, I’d have to wait until Saturday and there was no guarantee that Saturday would be a Spanish day.
As I’m riding in the taxi my mind starts wandering. It’s a crazy thing how we trust cab drivers. We get into a car with someone we’ve never met, and we trust they will take us where we want to go.
I feel like I’ve been told to never get in a car with a stranger.
As we’re driving along, I look out the window as dust and sand flies into my face. My cell in my pocket. My money safely ‘tucked’ away out of sight.
Normal Santa Cruz things happening all around me. Another taxi is stopped, sort of in the middle of the road while one of his passengers is peeing right beside the cab (not necessarily turned away). Then we have to slow down to let the cows cross the road, while a million stray dogs run after them. I wish I had a camera. But where would I ‘guard’ that? The taxi driver keeps looking back at me. Not sure what he’s thinking. Maybe it’s better that way.
All of a sudden the 3 lane road has turned into 5 lanes of traffic and I realize that it doesn’t even alarm me, but I do still recognize it.
The longer it takes to get there, the more I wonder about the fact of how much we trust taxi drivers. I realize that I really have no idea where he’s taking me, because I’ve only been at the feria once before with someone else. Just before panics sets in, I remind myself that I am a daughter of God and my cab driver is one of His creations.
We could be getting closer so I better figure out how to tell him where I want to go. Well, I want him to take me to the kitchen supplies because I need a pan. But in that sentence I have to use the word ‘take’ and I HATE that word. You see, it could be traer, tomar or llevar. They all mean ‘to take’ in one form or another and I can NEVER figure out which one to use. So I try and come up with a sentence where I don’t have to use that word. AH, to go! Yes that’s it.
In my excitement I realize he’s stopped and is asking me something. Oh poop. What was I going to use? I say something. He says something. I really have no idea what, but I think it was along the lines of, ‘he didn’t know where the kitchen stuff was and I could ask once I got inside.’ Um, well the feria is a ginormous market (4 blocks of craziness) and if it’s not close to here, I’ll be walking and searching for awhile.
I start by trying to tell him that I want him to find it because I don’t want to just get out anywhere. But the honking of cars behind me out weighs my effort, so I hand him the money and thank him.
I tell myself, at least I got here.
I try to look around but the smattering of people makes it impossible to stop and just look, so I start walking. I AM IN THE CLOTHES section. As far as I can see, I see CLOTHES. I ask someone where the kitchen ware is and they point me to the right direction. Or should I say in A direction. Because I went where they told me and it wasn’t it. So I ask again, and they too point me in A direction.
I walk and walk, it must be early afternoon because most ‘booth attendees’ are sleeping in there chairs.
Finally I see pots. I buy a pot. Full price. Then I buy towels and she says, if I buy this and this she’ll give it to me cheaper. And I remember, I’m in bartering country.
I need a cutting board. I feel like a cheap mennonite, but I try. She let me have it for 35 b’s less than it was priced. I did it. I tell myself that’s what you do here.
Now I need to hail a cab. Lord, there are so many, pick the nicest stranger for me please.
And we do it all over again.
On a non Spanish day.
Until next time,
PS. I did not take this photo (google images). It’s super hard to have a camera on you in a cab so pictures will come once we get a car. No we don’t have an iPhone.