Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today is Farmer's Market day in my neighborhood. I try to stay away from it. But I just can't. Some days I buy a lot and sometimes I just leave in frustration--wanting to buy a wig. My blonde hair must glow florescent in this sea of tropical fruits and veggies. And, even if I try to solely state the names of the products desired, my accented Portuguese invites attention from the malandros. I am always charged more than EVERYONE else, sold more than I want to buy, and forced to overhear comments on my "gringo-ness and skinny-ness."
Malandro as an adjective = double-dealing, cunning
Malandro as a noun = scamp
How often do you use scamp in English? "Malandro" is a common word in Portuguese--especially by me at the farmer's market.)
Anyway, as I march home, the plastic bag handles lined up my arm (kilos of oranges and everything else) arrest my circulation and dig into my flesh, and I vow never to return. Aside from feeling ripped-off, the shouting from the vendors is too loud, the pastels (fried stuffed envelope things) are too greasy, and my big toe pulses in pain from all those ladies who can't steer their shopping carts.(Shouldn't charming baskets or canvas earth-friendly bags be de rigueur carrying gear?)
But it's hard to stay away from this one stop shopping for orchids, vibrant fruits, and exotic, leafy greens (quite a visual for an East coast girl used to apples, bananas, roses and iceberg lettuce). Plus there are farm fresh eggs, whole fish (with eyes) dried beans and much, much more. You may also have your pressure cooker fixed, scissors sharpened, and find a new whatchmacallit for your drain. It might be pure confusion. But perhaps next week will be different. I'll show them.