I’m a huge believer in self-care. Seriously. I truly believe that there is no way you can be your best self, wife, mother, friend, daughter, employee, etc if you don’t first pamper yourself into happiness. This doesn’t mean just pampering but a sort of soul-satisfying, mental-health-checking, weekend-adventuring, exotic-food-making pampering. And this is exactly what I set out to do every weekend.
This weekend was pretty spectacular. We didn’t go anywhere exotic and I didn’t do anything dangerous or fancy. Instead, we went to a flea market in the Redland’s, which is the agricultural area outside of Miami Dade County, and shopped around for good food.
One thing you realize very quickly when you move from any outside city to the Miami area is that you are essentially moving into another country. There are so many Latin American cultures here, all claiming certain corners of the city, and very few of them have compromised their origins in order to live in the U.S. What has resulted from this is a very unique and very exotic experience that can really only be described as Miami.
One way I like to help myself transition to such a city (is it still a transition after 2 years??) is by exploring it as if I’m a tourist, visiting everything with virgin eyes and an open heart.
What this allows me to do is see the hidden beauty of South Florida, push my boundaries, and get my hands on more and more juicy fruit.
The flea market was basically a big warehouse filled with tons of fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables, and people calling out at you in Spanish. Connected to it, and behind it, is a sort of shanty town built of more metal sheets where they are selling various “goods”. It goes on for what seems like forever.
Food trucks sit outside of it all, in between the street and the warehouse, all pumping out authentic and warm Mexican food, served in complete platters. Adjacent to the trucks are large tents filled with tables topped with fresh cilantro, lime, tomatoes and lettuce for your meal
The sweltering heat seemed to be trapped underneath it all as the temperature reached the 90s and the humidity peaked by early afternoon. We had sweat dripping from our backs and necks and had to use our hands to swat away the very curious flies. It was another world, one existing completely on its own about 30 minutes South of Miami.
Raw cacao beans and dried chili peppers filled the bags lining each row. A scoop-and-weigh system was used with each vendor as they called out to the “mamacitas” and “papitos” to come check out their goods.