Random Views of Everyday Life

Posted on October 15, 2010 by


Fruit Market Next Door

One of the things I like to do is to walk about observing and discovering small aspects of everyday life that are interesting. So, I thought folks might enjoy these photos as well. There is no particular connection among them.

1. One thing that I was quickly educated about when I went to the fruit and vegetable stand next door to us is that you do not touch the merchandise. The lady had a fit when I reached out to check out the maturity of a tomato. She informed me quite clearly that there was no touching of the merchandise! Lesson learned! Of course, I quickly learned another lesson when I one of the local “supermarkets” (a little bigger than our typical convenience store). I did fine getting my items, including some onions, which I dutifully put into a plastic bag (using plastic gloves they have to avoid the touching issue). But when I got to the checkout counter the young lady quickly got exasperated with me.   Apparently, you are supposed to weight all of your produce on a scale that then generates a bar coded sticker that you stick on the bag so they can scan it. OK, so two lessons in one day!

2. Our neighborhood hardware store (ferreteria) is something else.  This place is approximately 10′ deep by 20′ long and has about everything you can imagine. These pictures show a little bit of how crammed in everything is.  You can see mops inside rolls of fencing, for example.  In the window is about every lock there is to buy. See if you can find the largest paella pan you will every see. Paella is sold everywhere as it is one of the most famous dishes of the region.

3. Traffic patterns are interesting. Throughout the city — at least wherever streets are wide enough(!) — room has been made for everyone.  In this picture you can see, from right to left, the sidewalk for pedestrians, the bikeway for cyclists (green), and the street. Crosswalk lights govern what happens at intersections. Cars have to stop and yield to cyclists as well as pedestrians when the pedestrian light is green. They do not have to stop if there is no one crossing. Pedestrians and cyclists obey the red, don’t cross, signal and cars/trucks go and turn freely.  Why do they wait patiently for the pedestrian light to turn green? Because you will be killed if you don’t! That’s the quid prop quo for vehicles not jamming their way through people and cyclists crossing the street.

Recycling is Personal Business

 4. People are quite conscientious about recycling. What’s interesting is that everyone, including businesses, have to take their recyclables out to the street and put them in large containers that are distributed all over the city.  In this picture you can see a man from a nearby restaurant who wheeled 3 cases of empty wine bottles over the glass container and put them all in, one by one.  The domed container is for glass. The one in the foreground is for paper. Behind him is a container for clothing. For some reason, there doesn’t seem to be anything for plastics. Otherwise, all trash gets hauled out to the street and put in very large dumpsters that the sanitation folks empty. I never see them during the day so I suppose this is done overnight. The result, however, is amazingly clean streets and sidewalks.