learn to say "no, gracias"
25.09.2008 - 25.09.2008
Today we went to the Pisac market, which is one of the most well known market days in Peru, especially around Cusco. It is quite big! There were tons of vendors, selling all sorts of items. A lot of them just sell the same things, though. Its also quite customary to haggle over prices, which I didn´t figure out until I had already spent a decent amount of money. Again, oops. The vendors are also quite aggressive! They yell out to you and follow you around and babble off lots of spanish. We learned pretty quickly that we just have to say "no, gracias" pretty much constantly. We tried to buy some stuff that seemed more locally made than mass-produced, and met some degree of success in that. There were some girls from Ayacucho who made jewelry, and I got two necklaces from them. And then there was a man from Calca who was SO kind, and he was selling necklaces and bracelets from his town that the local people make. They were made with many different colors and kinds of corn kernels, and are beautiful. It´s part of a conservation program, to continue the use of the local corn varieties, since commercial corn is so much cheaper to use. It´s part of a community program to keep colored maize as a crop, so they take the leftover kernels and everyone gets together to make jewelry out of it. So of course I bought quite a few things there. They have a website, and I don´t have it with me right now, but I will try to remember to put it up later so you all can go there and support them maybe
We ate lunch at the recommended Ulrike´s cafe, which was delicious. We got some guacamole with chips, and an oven-fired hawaiin pizza. ALL of the food was amazing. Oh, all of the juice here is also fresh-squeezed, so whenever I get Orange juice, I want to die of pure bliss because it is so yummy.
There are lots of little kids around Pisac that walk around dressed in cute little native clothes, carrying baby animals, saying that you can take their picture for one sole. It´s quite a difficult situation to deal with, because you don´t want to encourage certain behaviors, but you do want a picture and you do want to help them out. There are actually a lot of people here who simply walk around begging. I´m not quite sure what to make of it.
After spending most of the day at the market, we went back to the hotel and fell back asleep for the night.