A day of two commercial extremes. That’s what it was yesterday as I collected two very different new items. First, I went to Queen’s Market early in the day. It is located downtown and is a massive area in which farmers from all over the island come to sell their produce. It is a huge, lively place where people sell all kinds of fruits and vegetables and whatever else you need, really. The produce is vibrant and so fresh, and cheap! For roughly $5, I got pumpkin, lettuce, carrots, a papaya, cucumber, broccoli and a snapper. The woman selling the fish, which were still alive, gutted, scaled and cleaned it for us then wrapped it in newspaper. It was an amazing experience to attend this market for the first time, but it is a lot of energy to take in. I brought my camera, and knew this might cause some conflict as people here sometimes do not like their picture taken without permission. Indeed, one woman took issue with me taking any pictures at all (not even of an individual) and yelled something about whitey, don’t take pictures here at me. It is not the nicest feeling, but my journalist’s instinctive desire to record this beautiful place usually outweighs my discomfort.
We also visited the gorgeous Ward Theatre yesterday. This is an old structure in which people used to perform. It was hit by Hurricane Ivan several years ago and over the years, it hasn’t been maintained, let alone restored. It is a shame as it is so beautiful inside with original wood flooring and intricately painted decorations. The man at the front desk allowed us to take a look inside and we got to stand on the stage and imagine what it must have been like in its prime.
The extremes part of this shopping day comes into play with the purchase of something much more refined- a book about the origins of political order. I had been searching for this book for awhile in stores back home, but I guess it was always sold out or something. So last night, I found it at a drugstore of all places. Happiness- can’t wait to start reading. This is a book by the same fellow who is famous in nerdy political science circles for mistakenly declaring the end of history. Oops.