Sunday, 12 February 2017

Feria de Pulga San Temo.

The markets near San Telmo are very popular on a Sunday.  The website said that people should set their alarms as the markets start at 11 a.m.  Our gringo clocks started twitching.  One does not need to set their alarm for something that starts just before midday.

The gentle pitter patter of rain greeted us this morning.  The last apartment we were in had creaky steps, so we all thought it was the sound of someone walking on the stairs.   Our ski jackets, which are waterproof, are to be sent over once we’re settled in with an address.  Until then we are without wet weather gear but the call of artisan markets was too great.  First stop was off to withdraw some more cash.  Most banks here have a secure area, like an air-lock, at the front of the bank where the ATMs are.  The first bank I went to had two homeless people sleeping in the corner of the secure area.  I presume that being a weekend they may have 48 hours without being moved on.  Perhaps I have read too many warnings on the internet or seen too many Hollywood movies but this was when I felt all my prejudices surfacing.  Would they try to rob me, should I go to the next bank?  I decided to continue with my transaction but remain aware.  Luckily I know how to run with my hands in the air while screaming.  

We have had different levels of success with ATMs.  We withdraw the maximum amount of 2000 pesos to counteract the fee for overseas transaction.  The problem is that the machine usually dispenses four 500 peso notes, which can be hard to break while on the street.  It seems no-one likes giving change out and don't mind scowling at you in response to a large note.  To conteract this problem we usually withdraw 1900 pesos and at least then we receive four 100 peso notes.

The rain must have scared a few stall holders away as it looked sparsely populated.  One thing we noticed about these markets is that there was very little repetition in what was being sold.  The first purchase was from a man who was doing a roaring trade.  Who wouldn’t want to buy an umbrella on a rainy day?  

On our way back to the apartment we found a French bakery cooking with a wood fired oven that was selling a whole range of yummy treats.  In a few days our “holiday” will be over and we will be in a house.  This means that we are going to go back to our regular diet and the sweets and treats will become more of a sometimes food instead of the current everyday food.  Well, that's what we're telling ourselves today anyway.

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