by Jose Kevo
September 26, 2003
Located on Avenida de la Libertad between calles Guerrero del Rosario and Las Carreras, this was definitely one of those mystifying travel time-warp experiences that left me disenchanted by the mundane tasks of shopping at a regular supermarket - not to mention questionable quality of foods I'm left to pick from. These bountiful harvests are also what keep costs down for Dominican all-inclusive resorts unlike most smaller Caribbean islands where foods must be imported.
Regardless of which direction you enter the market from, you're all but sucked into the frenzy of activities and carried away in the wave of motorcycles, delivery trucks, and local shoppers that jam the narrow streets and alleys. Vendors are stacked in their booths and small stores hawking mountains of produce, dry goods, and the freshest of meats butchered on the spot that honestly left me wondering, how can they possibly sell all these foods before they spoil; regardless of the throngs of shoppers?
I'm not sure how many times I ambled back and forth with my senses of vision and smell on overload, but it was obviously enough to catch the attention of vendors and locals - and not just because I was the only "tourist" I saw present during this entire encounter. Answering their courteous and helpful greetings in Spanish gave them chance to interact with an outsider, which I suspect they rarely see. And not only were they eager to detail all the various items I'd never seen before, they were often just as quick to slice me off a taste.
Undoubtedly, I could have shot numerous rolls of film, but this was one of those cultural encounters that would have likely been tainted with an overactive camera - as if photos or a video camera could capture or replace the ambience of the experience. Other tips to keep in mind:
From journal In Search Of Queso Blanco