The Zumbahua Market
Trip Start Jun 27, 2008
89Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
July 26th 2008
I awoke this morning to the blaring sound of a stereo being played way too loud- the bass crinkling as the speaker strained to keep up with the booming beats- the lyrics indiscernible due to the obnoxious static from the over strained speakers- a few moments later there was another competing stereo crackling out Ecuadorian festivities and over the loud speaker in Quechua a man announced some indecipherable news. I laid in the comfort of my sleeping bag listening to the chaos that lay right outside my door. Checking my clock I saw that it was barely 5:40am and the temperature in my room was a cool 50.6 degrees Fahrenheit
By 6:06 am I managed to escape my warm cocoon to take a shower. Once again there was no hot water- and I considered for a moment whether or not I could go yet another day without a wash... but the fact that it had already been three days since my last shower... and the 5 hour hike yesterday begged to differ. I stifled a terrifying scream as I stepped under the ice cold water to take the world's fastest 60 second shower. Hopping up and down in a chaotic frenzy I somehow survived the painful event.
I hurriedly dressed in several layers of clothes before heading out to the plaza market.
The market today was considerably smaller than that of the Sasquisili Market that I visited on Thursday. The small plaza in front of the hostel that I stayed at last night opens right up to the main market. The East side of the plaza is brightly colored with fruit and vegetable vendors. I didn't see any red bananas today- but there were so many different plantains, bananas and other brightly colored fruits. As was with the Saquisili market there were a number of vendors that had chickens running around there produce.
As I walked to the center of the plaza my nose began to fill with the smells of chicken, potatoes, oil and onions
*BTW I finally figured out why the dollar coin is the most commonly used form of currency- paper bills wear out too quickly down here and unlike in the United States- people will not accept any bill that is even slightly torn.
Moving to the west end of the plaza the vendors became a bit more undefined. Soap to candy to hot sauce to various herbs and spices along with locks, safety pins, diapers and even make up were sold... there was simply no rhyme or reason to any of it.
As I made my way to the north west end of the plaza the sounds of the market place changed. the music began to fade and was replaced by the baaaaa's, moooo's oink's and squeals of the market animals. Fresh hanging carcasses hung from the metal frames of the purveyors
There were 8-10 vendors that were surrounded by goats and sheep. The men hog tied the animals one by one as they began to squeal a blood curdling scream. The other animals watched intently- smelling and nuzzling their imprisoned friends. Once the animals were tied the men would sharpen their blade against the surrounding cement walls. I will spare you the rest of the details- the pictures speak for themselves. The entire process took no more than 6 minutes start to finish... And this is the humane way of doing this.
I am seriously considering becoming a vegetarian once I return to the states.