Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Making Your Way in the World Today Takes Everything You Got

To see photos from the Wednesday tianguis in Iztapalapa, click on the title of today's entry, or copy and paste the following site into your browser:
On Wednesdays, while on the metro approaching the Acatitla station, where I disembark for school, I can see the action stirring all along the main road, Ignacio Zaragoza. The commotion is because of the Wednesday “tianguis” – the stands that make up a vast outdoors market. When the train comes to a stop, I clamber up the yellow, steel stairs and while looking straight forward, walk across the bridge that lies above the busy street below. When I reach the other side, before going down the stairs, I look out and locate the “bicitaxis” that I have quickly learned I have to place before making it to street-level. Once I am sucked into the market it’s hard to tell in which way I am walking, as if I’m stuck in a maze and then am pushed and pulled and turned around like I’m trying to make my way through a car wash.

The first time that I left school on a Wednesday I attempted to reach the metro by penetrating the market. After walking for about a half hour I realized I had no idea where I was. I looked towards the sky to try and find the metro’s yellow platform; but I couldn’t see it. Once I emerged from the grasp of the market, I found a “bicitaxi” that I took all the way (around the corner) back to the metro.

Now I know that if I want to make it to school on time on a Wednesday, I need to leave home a bit earlier than usual. In the “tianguis” today, I encountered a new obstacle – a parrot. In a spot that was difficult to pass by, the bird was sitting on a man’s shoulder. A lady approached them and asked if the bird bites. The man said, “Yes, he does.” With that, the lady reached her hand out to the bird, which in turn went berserk. It started flying overhead, fluttering in circles, then back and forth, all while squawking relentlessly. A couple of feet ahead I saw the light, the outskirts of the market, and with the force of a lineman pushed my way towards safety.