Central Market or central rip-off?

You can wear flip-flops to the new San Diego central market.  My footwear rules are different for shopping at the San Diego market than the markets in some countries I’ve lived in.  In those places, the first rule of shopping footwear is to wear something you can run in.  You may need to chase down a purse snatcher.  Years ago, upon exiting the central market in Nampula, Mozambique, a young man cut the thin shoulder strap of my friend’s purse, ripped it out of her hands and ran out the main exit and across the busy street.  I was wearing my sporty TIVA sandals – fine for a quick sprint.  My friend held the bags while I chased the thief across the street shouting “Ladrão! Ladrão!” Thief! Thief!  I don’t know what I expected, but a couple other boys joined the pursuit and 3 seconds later the thief dropped the purse in a side street.  It was a short but fruitful pursuit.

I was ready for this chase.  A few months prior I was sitting in the pick-up truck, window rolled down three inches, holding ten dollars worth of cash in my hand as I pulled into a parking space.  Someone reached through the window and grabbed the cash out of my hand.  I was shocked.  I jumped out of the car and shouted “Ladrão! Ladrão!”  A couple people looked the direction I was pointing and shrugged. I stood there, furious at the violation of the law and the violation against me.  Next time I would be ready.  Thus, the new choice in footwear for outings.

Worldwide, central markets are often where thieves earn their living.  But nevermind the thieves if you’re prepared, particularly with the proper footwear.  I always relish a visit inside to see, watch, observe and perhaps buy something at a bustling market.  For this reason, I went to check out the new San Diego central market.  Advertised as a market that, in the future, will be compared to Seattle’s famed Pike’s Place, the market in Barrio Logan is just getting started.  In Nampula, the market vendors sell mostly the same five or six vegetables or fruits that happen to be in season – fresh, organic and cheap.  At the San Diego market, vendors have a variety of items that are fresh, organic and expensive – to be expected in this region’s market culture.  Two warehouses host a variety of stands hawking fruit, flowers, baked goods, fresh-roasted coffee, vegetables, organic dog treats, hot meals, and more.  And I didn’t have to worry about anyone running off with my purse.

For more information on San Diego’s new market, click here.  Unfortunately, Nampula’s Mercado Central doesn’t have a website, but if you ever find yourself in Nampula, ask anyone walking along the street and I’m sure they can direct you there.  And buy a bunch of finger bananas.  They’re to die for.

4 thoughts on “Central Market or central rip-off?

  1. I’d give most anything to be able to buy the wonderful produce in Nampula! Even if only 3 things are in season, those 3 have more flavor and goodness to nourish the body and excite the palate than a whole aisle of Loveland grocery store veges.

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