Sunday, October 5, 2008

Earthquake Warnings

The streets of Mexico City are awash with a whole array of different things for sale from local street vendors. As soon as the traffic stops and jams begin to form, out come the vendors working the queues, selling ordinary stuff you might expect, like snacks, drinks, phone cards, toys, balls, musical instruments, but the realm of surrealism is soon entered with the regular appearance of my favourite street vendor - the hat stand vendor. Crafted from wood, the hat stands are at least 2 metres tall, and before I leave Mexico City, I am determined to purchase one just to see if there is any possibility of fitting it into any car or taxi!

The street markets and impromptu tianguis ( Aztec word for market stall ) also sell a host of products many of a folk art nature. These cute little painted wooden tortoises are not purely decorative and ornamental in nature, but serve the purpose of being very useful earthquake warners. As the tremor begins, so they begin to tremble, and their heads begin to nod. Many people have them on shelves in homes, offices, shops, and businesses. Last month Mexico commemorated the 23rd anniversary of the most devastating earthquake to hit Mexico City in 1985. These little objects are not just little fandangles!!

No comments: