Flaps down and coming in

It’s a long night-time flight back to Montreal from Mexico City. When I landed part of me felt like I had just arrived on a distant planet and part of me felt at home. It’s cold, it’s monochrome, it’s winter, and it’s familiar.

Travelling to a place like Mexico City heaps perspective on your home environment. Its safety, its affluence, its respect and personal freedom. The familiarity of it all is a double edged sword – enjoyable, but lulling too.

Before leaving Mexico I took a few photographs that showed things I’d like to remember. This is the woman we bought avocados, tomatoes, oranges, and carrots from.

I went shopping yesterday in Montreal, and I can tell you that the plum tomatoes looked nothing like these, which were 20 pesos a kilo (a little over a US dollar).

One of the days we were shopping in this market two eager people with clipboards surveyed us about why we were there. I kept on thinking “why shouldn’t we be here, it’s the same way we like to shop in Montreal.” I think I communicated this in Spanish. For our efforts we were given shopping bags.

The market houses approximately 75 vendors, each in stalls with pull-down doors. The city district owns the markets.

This is what the market looks like inside – there are three aisles this long. Pretty much everything you need is available.

And the market from the outside…

During the day all the doors to the market are up and the building is wide open. As night-time approaches, more and more doors are closed until only one is open. At that point most of the vendors are closed too, but a few stay open late. And then around eight the final door goes down and the market is closed. There are still stores on the street that stay open a lot later.

I didn’t want to be mean to myself – or to you – but we ate quite a few of these and they were fresh, recently picked.

This is mean – but it’s mean to me. Taken a few minutes ago, a store-front window near our studio…

And then a couple of days ago, on the street in Mexico…

(It doesn’t seem fair)


Posted in Mexico

One comment on “Flaps down and coming in
  1. Hattie says:

    Looking at all this art & street and market scenes is such a treat. And the museum blew me away. I’m thinking we might risk going to Mexico City just to see the museum, but it’s tough there for old people. Anyway, I get to see your wonderful photos.

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How Many Roads? is a book of photographs by Jonathan Sa'adah, available for order, offering an unglossy but deeply human view of the period from 1968 to 1975 in richly detailed, observant images that have poignant resonance with the present. Ninety-one sepia photographs reproduced with an introduction by Teju Cole, essays by Beth Adams, Hoyt Alverson, and Steven Tozer, and a preface by the photographer.
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