Before I type another word, I have a cautionary note to my readers, many of whom are on my contact list. Quora, a social Web site, I guess, has hacked my contact list and is sending invitations from me to join it. I did not send the invitation. Please ignore and delete or spam it. Thanks.
Last Sunday a friend and I took a taxi to the feria in Santa Ana. I had heard glowing reports of the products available there, including catfish, which I have never seen in the Pavas feria. It was a bit of a trip for what I intended to buy, but we both were curious.
Parking was a nightmare, and even getting close to the market in a taxi was difficult because the parked cars had turned the street into one lane.
I am trying to be objective, but I found the feria without the charm that the Pavas one has. Perhaps it is the fact that it is on a level street so you can only see a few feet ahead of you and tends to be claustrophobic if you are inclined. The Pavas market is on a long street that goes downhill and then up. I have trouble climbing a hill, but the view of the people across the way makes a wonderful naïf painting in my mind. There seemed to be far more expats than Ticos at the Santa Ana feria
I recognized some of the sellers from the Saturday feria in Pavas, and I think some of their produce was left over from then. The yellow peppers were not as shiny and healthy looking as the ones I had seen at the Pavas market.
However, I did have a nice experience — a first of its kind that I recall. I was standing at the flower stall waiting for the tall shopper next to me get his flowers. I noticed he was having difficulty holding two plastic handless bags full of fruit. I searched through my cart and found a supermarket bag with a handle and handed it to him saying it might be easier to hold. At first he thought I wanted him to hold the bag for me while I put an invisible something into it. Once he understood, he put his two bags in it and thanked me.
A minute later a man in the adjacent kiosk came over and picked up a 2,000-colon note at my feet and handed it to me. In my bag searching I had dropped the money I intended to use to pay for the flowers. I thanked him sincerely. Then I handed the bouquet I had chosen to the florist whom I recognized from the Pavas feria on Saturdays. He looked at my choice, then picked another bouquet of the same flowers from the bucket and said “This is better.” I thanked him with a smile. Then a woman approached me. She was selling kitchen towels and, of course, had hungry children at home. I told her to wait a minute and when I got my change, gave it to her. She smiled and thanked me. And I was on my way. I don’t know what she then did; perhaps buy her children something to eat.
I have now visited five different ferias in the Central Valley, including Plaza Viquez, the feria in San Ramón de Alajuela, and the organic feria not far from the Hospital Calderón Guardia. There are many more, I am sure, and each is unique.
Meanwhile it looks as if Tigo is on a diet. Some time ago they dropped C-span much to my distress. Now they no longer carry NBC. I don’t watch it too often, but an expat, former New Yorker called me unhappy that she will now miss the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Square in December.
Gratitude and giving to or doing for others are universal traits, often forgotten these days when road rage and random acts of violence seem to be contagious.
It is nice to know that a random act of kindness (no matter how small) can also be contagious.