To my pleasant surprise, the first places Chuckie took us to were the various clothing stores throughout the maze of the market. I came to the market expecting to find bright colored handmade local clothing; unfortunately, however, this was not the case at all. The place we visited was an outdoor vendor that had tables with several large piles of used clothing.
There were about 6 semi-organized piles of clothing divided up by men’s shirts, shorts and pants, and then by women’s shirts, shorts/skirts and pants. I found one very cute soft long loose simple black t-shirt with a small pocket by DKNY that I really liked for only $2–but decided that black wasn’t an ideal color in this heat. The various brands in the piles were all familiar but made me feel like I was picking through the second hand clothes of a United States thrift shop. A thrift store of a thrift store, if you will. This made the hunt for a treasure even more difficult yet exciting as it was a bit of a challenge. I searched a bit longer, but I didn’t really find anything else I was interested in and neither did the boys–besides this was only our first stop. We moved on through the long windy maze of the market until finally, Chuckie walked upstairs into an indoor store. There were a lot more people shopping as this place had a larger variety of items than the last.
The large room looked and felt just like a Goodwill with an eclectic mix of items from clothing to little random trinkets that reminded me of things I’d see at a flea market. The average price for a men’s or women’s shirt was around 20 cordobas ($0.86) while shorts were about 30 cordobas ($1.28).
I found a very cute high waisted nautical themed blue and red skirt with little sail boats that I almost bought for 30 cords, but I was determined to find something I couldn’t find in the states–I felt like I was sorting through the things that the American Goodwill stores didn’t want. I wanted true Nicaraguan-made clothing. I moved on from the women’s section to the other side where we saw the massive white sacks that all of the clothing came in.
JB and I had fun looking through the junk section–JB’s favorite find was an old putter with a fishing rod attached to the side of it for those lazy golfers who don’t feel like bending all the way down to grab their ball from the hole. I loved the old mason jars, the British flag mugs and random porcelain coasters sewn throughout the shelves.
After sorting through the whole store and a few other stores that were very similar for an hour or two, we needed to eat. Even though we were both seriously craving fast food, Chucky wanted to take us to his favorite lunch spot in the market. We ate gallo pinto with chicken breast, cabbage salad and an always refreshing ice cold coke.
We then continued our mercado excursion in hopes to find nicaraguan handmade clothing and/or jewelry, I was determined…