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You know that old adage about how you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Well, add to that you shouldn’t go to the fresh market when you have food in your fridge and little in your belly.

Right after a decent/hard workout (Thank you polar for helping me to measure my obsession, I should do a gear report on the F6), I headed for a quick trip to the vega to see about getting some more squash. I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. I also cannot for the life of me understand why I hated this vegetable so mightily the whole time I was growing up, and when it appeared on many a Thanksgiving, stuffed, as the “turkturnative” for those of us who don’t do poultry.

I went with las ganas (an inkling, a desire, a fixation) of buying zapallo, that mottled orange squash which comes in giant wedges, the seeds still inside. But then I saw a big head of cabbage, and I thought of the plum sauce I bought yesterday in Patronato, and imagined a mu shu vegetable kind of thing. A little further on and I bought four artichokes. Then five eggplants, and finally, finally nine red peppers.

I think someone should do an intervention. Don’t worry, then I went to the local minimart and bought french bread, goat cheese and a big old bottle of diet coke. I may be healthy-eating most of the time, but I still know the joy of a toasted cheese sandwich (with homemade refried bean “hummus”) and a polka-dot glass of diet coke.

And because no trip to the Vega is complete without a commentary on the social fabric that is my city, I must mention that once again, I am a queen (reina). I am also a little housewife/habitual customer (caserita). And, from the gent I bought the zapallo and the repollo (cabbage) from for a dollar, I am the most beautiful customer they have seen all day. A bit hyperbolic perhaps, but not a bad piropo, as far as these things go. Now I feel sad for everyone else who wasn’t wearing dun-colored capri pants with wool long underwear underneath and running shoes. Oh, and stripey socks.

I also saw someone in a wheelchair in the Vega today, to which I have to say, “you go… caballero!” (gentleman), because between the mashed up vegetables and cats (whole, thankfully) underfoot (and underwheel), and the masses of people and hanging bags just at this guy’s midsection/head level, it can’t have been easy. I also heard a very old guy called be called “jovencito” (young’un), and inexplicably, another gent de la tercera edad (an expression my mother loves, which means “senior citizen,” but means literally “third age”) crowing like a rooster. Don’t know why, but he did a darn fine impression.

While I was at the vega, I bought

One corte of zapallo and a giant head of cabbage… 1 dollar
four artichokes… two dollars
five eggplants… two dollars
nine small red peppers… $1.15

I did not buy any eggs, either from rooster man nor any of his neighbor friends. Both because they do not travel well on a bike, and because I’m not a big fan. I’m off to roast some vegetables.