Thursday, June 09, 2005

Shuking it

Yesterday I made my weekly trip to the shuk after work. It works out well, since I take a detour to the shuk at the end of the workday, which happens to coincide with the last half hour of the shuk (open-air market), when the prices are rock-bottom, since the stall-owners want to get rid of their produce and go home for the day.

The tempo of the shuk is always a fast-paced one, and amazingly, even on the hottest days, and even at the end of the day, tempers are even and people are in good moods.

Every once in awhile, you hear some people yelling back and forth, but almost always, when the yelling ends, the customer ends up buying from the same stall-owner that he was threatening with bodily harm 5 minutes ago, and the stall-owner is offering the customer a drink of whatever he has.

The Ethopians also frequent the shuk at the end of the day...they are the newest immigrants, many whom just arrived weeks before, but they've learned quickly that the best deals are to be had at the day's end. Their families are rigidly divided by sex...the women and girls do the shopping, while the little boys hang around the shop owners, waiting for an hour's work at the end of the day, taking down the stall and putting everything away.

I once saw a group of these little boys walking home about an hour after the shuk closed, carrying bags of fruit and vegetables for their families -- their payment for their work. Some of these boys couldn't have been more than 9 or 10, yet they didn't expect candy or money for themselves -- they wanted to bring home food.

I want so much to "give" to my children, to make sure that they have money for the extras that they shirt, goodies, etc., but somehow, I think that these kids are getting more. So how do I give those sorts of values to my children, who are used to receiving the basics, without struggling or going without? A question..........

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well, when you find the answer(s) please let me know. i await such wisdom, indeed, have waited a long time. b2