Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Whole New World

Right next to the San Jacinto Bridge lies a bigger, almost warehouse-like building. It looks a bit like buildings that might house an American flea market. Unbeknownst to me, that was the home of Triana’s marketplace, less than twenty feet from where I walk every day.

I had never seen it, let alone stepped inside. For some reason, flea markets make me think of slave markets or something, so you can see the amount of courage it took for me to walk into this building that no doubt sold not only fresh produce, but human flesh. Luckily, I summoned all my will and charged through the door into the nearly empty room of fruit stalls.

Pretty much how things went down.
I was coming pretty late to the game, you see, only about an hour before the market closed. But now I see what all the hype is about markets (at least in Europe). They are cheap—unlike their contrived American counterparts; they are fresh—three perfect manzanas and a fluffy baguette; and they are laid back.

No one looked angrily at the gringo as she lurked from stand to stand, trying to figure out where the bags were and how to say “apple” again. People were chatting, and stall-owners were easy-going about my wobbly “tres manzanas” and “este pan?”

My current book is Haroun and the Sea of Stories (it’s brilliantly written). As Haround reasons, the real world is full of magic, so magical worlds can easily be real. The exploring days are not over. With nearly 7 billion people on earth, there are plenty of worlds still to be discovered. I find that extremely comforting.

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