The Diary Game | 09/17/20 | Day #42 - La Galeria
My friends laugh at me because I go there. They say, "It is so dangerous and dirty." But, there is an adrenaline, a feeling of weirdness, desperation, cross currents of country folk handing their wares off to street dwellers and local inhabitants of the sector. All types of cars compete with cargo trucks for space as some drive through slowly ordering and paying on the fly. Every social strata is there doing whatever it is they need to do. It is the semi-traditional market plaza, la Galeria.
In order to get ready for my trip, I had to make sure my mom had all her groceries.
All pictures are my original photography and rights are restricted to Open Minded Traveler. I use a Sony NEX-3N, and a Samsung S7. Most pictures are edited using Canva Pro.
Dear Diary - This morning I went shopping - this afternoon I am traveling
It is with great anticipation, and reluctance, that I am leaving on this trip. The first half of my morning was spent packing and confirming appointments, reservations etc. Before the Covids, I was in Pereira every week almost, giving tours and attending clients. This is the second time since this whole mess began that I am traveling. Everything is back to being in the "risk stage" where I am simply looking to see what I can do. It will take me a bit of work to get back to the profit stage where my trips naturally pay for themselves and everything is honky dory.
What do you want to bet that someones family will be having a big pot of Sancocho de Gallina later?
If you are reading this, say a little prayer for me that things fall into place and I pick up new students, or clients. My faith is strong that things will work out, but every little bit helps.
I know I am not the only one in Colombia who is struggling a bit. It has been turbulent, and will very probably get worse before it gets better. Here's to hoping that they hold off on the Alien Invasion trick until 2023, at least! In any case, I have tinfoil at hand if the going gets weird.
By 10:00 AM, I was out the door catching a bus to the center, puppy in hand, my mom wanted a break. I can officially vouch that I am a badass mom. Halfway there, the dog began heaving. Like the prepared mom I am, I caught it all in the baggie I whipped out of my pocket. The other bus goers didn't even notice.
Having finally arrived, dog clean, hands decent, I bought the first item at a bakery in Chipre, then walked down to La Galeria. This is a 5 block section with a round pavilion in the center, which receives all the harvest from Caldas. Here, it is repacked for onward shipment, distributed to supermarkets and restaurants, and sold in the streets via multiple individual outdoor stalls, and commercial spaces.
The strangest point of weird during the pandemia, was to come to La Galeria and see everything closed down at 2:00 PM - everything deserted. I have been shopping here almost since arriving, and I know who will give me fair prices for loyalty, with good service. He didn't leave me disappointed either.
Next, I stopped in for a coffee, at a shop that sells several local brands of coffee from this department. People here are very regionalistic and proud of their work, which makes Manizales very much a #buylocal sort of economy. As a choice retirement destination by Colombians, there are also many senior citizens who follow older shopping traditions which is what keeps so many small shops and La Galeria alive today.
Origen Caldas is a place of interest for visitors, you can learn about locally produced products over a cup of coffee, or juice. Everything sold here - including all these different brands of coffee, were grown and processed in the Department of Caldas.
I have tried to educate other foreign residents about shopping at La Galeria, but it is a very strange place to be if you are limited with Spanish or terribly concerned about getting robbed.
Over the years I have learned a very simple philosophy. People who are prey, get robbed and bad things happen to them. Natural born predators can usually cut a wider swath around them and exude enough aggression and confidence, that they are less likely to be robbed. For me, as long as I develop loyalty with the vendors, come regularly, and basically watch my back, nothing will happen, has happened. Dios quieres que nunca pasa algo.
In any case, I managed to buy everything I needed and stay within my budget of $10 USD. Oranges, mandarinas, garlic, ginger, and honey candies for my mom. With my puppy along, it was all a bit more crazy and hectic. He didn't fail to deliver either - and vomited again on the bus back. However, for some reason, I was motivated to carry a back-up plastic poo bag PLUS wet wipes. And, again I was prepared. Not too bad for only half a days work.
Arriving home, I ate a hamburger with cheese and guacamole for lunch, and sat down to write my steemit.
Going forward, I have to run across town in a different direction to teach my English student, then catch a bus to the bus terminal, where my friend is picking me up. I will be in Pereira, Risaralda by 6:30 or 7:00 PM and then off to bed early so I can put in a full day of appointments and work projects on Friday.
Friday and Saturday's posts, will be published late on Saturday upon arrival. Hang in there as economic activation is a bit of a roller coaster and we are all stuck on it together!
If you feel a kindred spirit with my DIARY entry in times of Coronavirus, New Opportunities and Colombia, then do your part to help a neighbor! Be sure to upvote, comment and/or give me a resteem, of this post. Tell a friend - and join #thediarygame so we can all bring home the rewards of high quality content curation on the @SteemitBlog ecosystem during #the50daysofsteem
If you missed my last post from Day #41, you can read it HERE: