Last night I saw hammocks, incense, sunglasses, DVDs, ponchos, watches, various assortments of hats, 1-meter long crucifixes and the piez de resistance: not one, but two stuffed deer heads. I admit, I didn’t think anything of it until I saw the last two but on holiday weekends, you see a lot more than the average cigarette vendor has to sell on the street. We observed all of this from our streetside table at Pico de Botella, one of my favorite Rumba stops on ‘La 70.’
The availability provided by streetside vendors is pretty amazing as it is. You can buy a beer for a dollar and walk just about anywhere in the city with it, no problem. My personal favorites are the bags of pre-sliced fruit, of which the vendors will add salt and lime juice for a delicious snack; 75 cents for a bag of mango. Some might get a little flustered by the constant bombardment of items and services, but the locals are pretty receptive to a firm “no”, and really only frequent the touristy areas. It’s pretty hard to turn down a $1 shoe shine from a grinning Costeño who will make fun your scuffed shoes til you finally give in.