I turned my attention to the great central market: three blocks long on each side, and two stories tall, this was the largest market complex I had ever seen.
Each shop was small, some were nothing more than a five foot square booth, stuffed to overflowing with singular individual handmade items. Each artist or artisan specialized in a particular item, and sat there in their tiny booth making each item by hand, then making another, then another, all day long. Spouse and children were also involved, either helping manufacture more items, or else trying to convince every passer-by to buy from them.
There were literally thousands of items for sell, and for things where one size doesn't fit all, you could have one custom made. How about a pair of shoes custom fit to your feet? Continue your shopping and return in an hour to pick up your new shoes. How's that for service?
I continued to work my way through the maze, warding off children who desperately wanted me to come and buy from their parent's booth. Eventually I made it to the vegetable section, and then on to what could only be called the "fresh meat" area. Sides of beef hung from the ceiling in the hot Mexican air, with flies buzzing incessantly all around. There were chickens too, whole flocks of them and all very much alive. Fish swam in large water tanks. Turtles, snakes and lizards splashed around in the murky water at the bottom of wooden barrels. Needless to say, I didn't purchase any fresh lizard for dinner. But I was told it tastes like pollo (that's Spanish for chicken)...
Other Articles from this Journey:My First Foreign Country: Mexico
Horseback Riding, Mexico
Architecture in Guadalajara
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico