Scandal in Tlacolula Market

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A woman makes a spectacle of my friend who does not understand Spanish. She insists that because my friend has taken a photo of her stand, she is owed the cost of a soft drink, the cost of which she rises significantly: 50 pesos. It is a small sum in dollars. $3.44. It seems a large sum for a soft drink, an even larger sum for a photo.

Growing louder and more insistent, the woman growls that 50 pesos is not so much to charge a person who will make 200 pesos, no 200 DOLLARS for her photo.

Her performance draws a small crowd. My friend decides not to take the picture as it seems it will be literally taking something away from this woman. We wander on through the never-ending market.

Unless I can be super surreptitious or am shooting into a crowd, having encountered mini dramas like this one, I almost ask, after saying hello and wishing the listener a good afternoon, evening, morning, night… ¿Por favor, podria tomar una foto de…? (Please, may I please be able to take a photo of…?) I even do this as I am taking a photo of a woman’s array of chickens with their feet pointing at me.

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