Living in Granada, Nicaragua is a pleasant experience. Average daily temperatures are about 30° C and there is usually a breeze coming off Lake Nicaragua. This part of the world gets around 300 days of sunshine each year. It’s a good place to spend the winter.
The people are friendly at every turn, and there’s not a day that goes by that someone, usually more than one person, gives you a smile even if you refuse the vendor’s cashews, or the currency exchanger or the women carrying fruit trays on their heads.
It seems that everyone is a vendor as we thread our way along the Calle Commercial each day for our breakfast. This is the open market where you can find just about anything you need. The street is so crowded with people that the big buses can hardly drive by.
Once off the market street, you can enter what’s left of the indoor market palladium, circa 1930, where there are rows and rows of vendor stalls, and wares that can be bargained for. And unlike the souks say of Tunisia and Turkey, the Nicaraguans are really laid back, eating their snacks and visiting the other vendors while they work, almost oblivious to the 4 curious Canadian tourists passing by.
For many of the locals, the market is where they endure, either to sell, barter or buy the goods they need. Prices are low, and there are enough meats, fruit, vegetables, pastries, drinks, poultry, eggs, and herbs to feed even the largest family. Last week we watched a 12 year old boy carrying a squealing pig under his arm, perhaps under instructions from his father to get as many cordobas( 18.8 = $1.) as he could muster at the market, but unknowingly giving practical meaning to the nursery rhyme which begins: “this little piggy went to market.”