Today, Mr. Everything and I went on an adventure to the farmer’s market. Our goal was to get cheap produce so we can start eating healthier. (I’ll keep you posted on how that goes…) What we found was complete bedlam!
On Wednesdays, not only do they have the normal famer’s market of fruits and vegetables by the case, but they also had a flea market. Let me just say that if you’ve never experienced a flea market in Plant City, Florida, then you haven’t lived. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
The place was a madhouse. There were cars coming and going and driving and parking. Sometimes, they were parking where we were driving. It was great fun trying to get through. I was glad I wasn’t driving.
We paid $2 for parking. Thirty feet down further down, parking was free, and around the corner, it was $1. There was no rhyme or reason to the parking situation, but Mr. E reasoned that it was worth $2 not to have to keep fighting the traffic.
We got out and went to look at the vegetables first. What we found very quickly was that we were overwhelmed. We also discovered that we needed to drive the car for that part, because the produce came in large, heavy boxes. We decided to go to the flea market and get our $2’s worth for the parking spot.
Bravely, we ventured into the flea market area. Let me just say, oh my word. It was crazy! There were many, many Mexican people, so it felt a little like being in a foreign country. There was Mexican music playing. I heard more Spanish than English. I saw many Mexican flags on banners and clothing. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Mexican people (or any people of other nationalities, for that matter). I love the Mexican culture. I love Mexican food, and I don’t even mind Mexican music.
Although I pride myself in being familiar with the culture and food, I kept saying, “What are they eating?” There were all kinds of weird foods available that I had never heard of. There were weird noodle-looking things that looked like they were made of orange Styrofoam. There were bowls of some kind of cut up fruit. There were dried bean looking things. There was a fruit that looked like a furry green butt. (And, no, it wasn’t a peach.)
I was not bothered to find so many people speaking a different language. In fact, I was fascinated. It was like going on vacation without leaving home. I enjoyed that aspect of the flea market.
What I didn’t enjoy quite so much was the stuff that was for sale. For the most part, it was like arriving at the end of a really bad garage sale. They had VCR tapes and VCRs. I lost count of how many VCR tape rewinders I saw. Then, there was the house paint. There were buckets and buckets of used, leftover house paint in all shades. I would have never thought about selling my leftover paint, but now I know. I can get rich by cleaning out my garage. Apparently, the stuff sells, because vendors throughout the market had partial buckets of paint. Who knew?
If you want a statue of a saint or you would like a jacket with a saint on the back, I know where you can get it. If you would like old clothes or old shoes or old hats, I have just the place. And let me say that no one should ever be barefoot again. There were enough socks for sale in that place to cloth a small country. Where do they get all those socks? How do they get all those socks? Why do they get all those socks?
There were appliances and canned foods. They had dishes and pots and pans. There were pet supplies, and they even had birds. Live birds. Isn’t there a law against that?
What amazed me was that in the midst of the rubble, Mr. E found things to look at. As I was quickly walking through with the goal of reaching the end of each aisle, he stopped and looked at everything. A blanket with rusty old sockets? "Oh, let's look." Mexican hats and shirts? "Let's check it out." Pointy toed boots? "Gotta see if they have my size." (By the way, my biggest regret of the day was not getting a photo of those pointy toed boots.) Mr. E actually found a good deal on a tool because he was patient enough to look. I, on the other hand, was just trying to get out.
When we had finished walking through about half of the flea market, Mr. E looked at me and said, “You’re getting close to being over it, aren’t you?” I sweetly told him no and said I had been over it by the end of the second aisle. It was too much stuff! That commercial kept going through my mind. You know, the one for Space Bags? It says, “Too much stuff, not enough space!” I kept hearing that phrase over and over in my mind. Strangely enough, I’m pretty sure Space Bags were the one thing I did not see for sale out there. Maybe that's why they all had too much stuff, not enough space. -Al