Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tianguis in Mexico
Traveling markets are called tianguis. We have one in San Miguel de Allende every Tuesday. I try not to miss it.
It is a mixture of tables with produce, food, fish, chickens - live and dead - rabbits, ditto. Add to that the tables of embroidery and thread, blender parts, every imaginable electrical thingy, tools, new shoes, new clothes. If you can imagine it, you can usually find it if you look hard enough. The photos above are the fresh fruit and aqua frescas for sale. The last photo is a vendor shortening a belt for my man. He was so intent on making it just right as we watched.
My favorite thing to look through and for is the used clothing. I know, at first you say uuugh. But then when you find a pair of gorgeous Ann Taylor slacks for forty pesos ($3.20 US) or a great Chico jacket for same price or less, you're hooked. It has been a fun discovery for me. I'm so hooked on finding my clothes there that I hardly EVER buy new things in the USA or Mexico any more. Well other then intimate things. It is such a deal.
The NY Times had an article just a day or so ago about a challenge of selecting and wearing only six items of clothing for a period of thirty days. It is a slap at consumerism. One that is much needed. One of the women that was interviewedfor the article was astonished that not only did her husband not notice but neither did anyone at work that she wore the same clothes for that period. I bet it will change her way of thinking about "enough is enough".
In 1991 I went to Puerto Vallarta to handle a design project which was the remodel of a residence in Gringo Gulch. It was the first home built by an expat in that "village" at the time. It was so noteworthy that National Geographic sent a photographer in the mid 50's to photograph the house and a story was written also about this "phenomena".
With me I brought one small suitcase. Estimating I would be there a week to ten days, it seemed that was all I needed.
It turned out to be a six week jaunt. I lived out of that one small suitcase without buying anything. It was a light bulb moment for me. I realized (one) that I could do it, and (two) that I didn't miss anything back in Houston.
It was the beginning of the change in me to a more simpler life.
I followed that, when returning to the USA, by reading a book about a woman who said, "Why do we need more then six pieces of clothing?" Wow, to me that was radical. But again that reconfirmed that it could be done and I wanted to do it.
Well, I must admit, until I moved to Mexico, I didn't fulfill the "simpler life". But now I live in a house with one closet. No I don't have only six pieces of clothing, but I sure have much much less then ever before. AND at much less cost.
The surprising part of all of it is that I've never been more content in my whole life!