When I visit a new place, I like to see through the eyes of the people who live there perhaps more than I enjoy doing all the touristy stuff. I want to see the neighborhoods where laundry hangs outside and where the kids play in gated courtyards. I want to taste food that has been made in a region for decades and food that locals line up for. I want to smell flowers that I’ve never seen and the smoggy stench that plagues a city. I enjoy the unselfish hospitality of newfound family and the uneasiness that comes with sitting idle at a stop light at midnight.
On my last morning in Mexico City, my friends showed me the market, where locals shop for everything from raw cow stomach (tripe), dry beans, flowers and mangos. Kids sample gummy bears in paper cones and fruit-flavored water is a refreshing treat. Around the corner from the butcher surrounded in hanging meats are countertops where locals sit belly-up as they sip Coka and wait for their tacos made with chorizo, lengua (cow tongue), chicken and beef made all ways.
I may not have been brave enough to taste the lengua, to eat mayonnaise that is left in cupboards or to eat the ice off a bicycling snow-cone vendor, but I do appreciate the beauty and quirks of a lifestyle that is not my own.
These are the photos of the market on my last morning in Mexico. I have so many more to show you (as soon as I solve the case of the newly broken external hard drive).