Sonntag, 23. März 2008

market day

"hey, come over here so that i can cut your balls off," the guy wielding the knife shouted, cackling.

not understanding his creole, i smiled, waved back and said "bonjour, monsieur!"

when my guide translated the greeting for me, it was my turn to laugh. it was the most absurd way i've been ever been greeted upon entering a market. welcome to cayes jacmel market.

the market itself was teeming with sellers and buyers, getting supplies for easter weekend. weaving through the low, rickety structures made of bamboo poles covered with tarps, we made our way past sellers sitting on low stools in the almost dry river basin, hawking plantains, onions, pineapples, goats' trotters, dried fish, shampoos and hair lotions, second-hand clothes and shoes, prepaid cellphone cards, rum and cigarettes, lemonades and ice cream. in the low waters of the river, children play around, the small mountain horses of the farmers quench their thirst while women wash clothes and tap-tap drivers their multi-coloured communal taxis.

in many ways haiti reminds me of timor leste, though everything, both in the negative sense and positive sense, seems more pronounced here. or at least that is my initial reaction...

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