Ver-o-Peso market

2022-07-10 @Travel

You may have witnessed at one point or another or two at once a local market of food stalls and merchandise (and shouts and hagglers and embezzlers) across major seaports of the Portuguese-Spanish colonized regions of the Americas or elsewhere. If fortunate, the setting opens to the old, colonial town leading to the docks reeking of queer sewage, the life-relishing-abhorring vulture birds, the hammock laden crew of boats stationed in limbo, the deteriorated stone alleyways, the abandoned then repurposed Art Deco palaces, public houses, trading posts, outhouses, sustained in a semblance of functionality.

At one of these markets, among the vendors of castanha, shrimp, mandioca (granuralized or ground), jambu leaves and Açaí, you may have observed a particularly attractive stall that caters to unparalleled bandwidth. The high-adrenaline stall, the frenzied stall. I can’t help but be taken by the fortitude of the acquiescing, cursing, condescending, abnegating but resolute proprietor amidst the high-caliber interchange.

I frequently revisit if for no better reason than to observe this aspect of raw, in your face, freshly brewed off the street commerce, the transparency of a caged animal abused in all senses but for the unsolicited camera photography, a marvel of a realism expressionism painting and a spectacle that I rarely find deserving of the energy expendature but for this extraordinary case.

Something real transpires in that stall: something eerily quintessential, something deserving of a poem, should I capture … Futile. Could I capture a wild animal? Could I hail a bus indifferent to pleas and erratic waves of scorched hands, racing past at full wind? I can only patiently endure and endure, a hitchhiker on a desert road.

Questions, comments? Connect.