One of my favorite things to do in a new city is to check out a local market. Mary Stelletello, the founder of the Vista Leadership Academy, called our first day in Oaxaca “disruption.” Immediately upon arrival, we were taken 30 miles outside of Oaxaca City to immerse ourselves in the Tlacolula market.
I was incredibly excited to dive into the hustle and bustle, but I think the jet-lag made me more nervous than usual. My Spanish language skills were lacking, to say the least. I wasn’t sure what would be considered a fair price or if the sellers there even enjoyed a culture of haggling. But that was the point. To be thrown into it cold.
Markets really are one of the best ways to immerse yourself into another culture.
Even if you’re not ready for it. You start to get a better understanding of the local people by the foods they eat,…
what they sell,…
the way they shop and speak with one another,…
how they interact with you,…
the environment you’re surrounded by.
Stepping up to try things you don’t have at home takes the experience to another level.
Like this thick, chocolatey drink made of maize and cacao, called tejate, or “drink of the gods.”
We sat down to lunch at Mary’s.
And that’s where I tried my first grasshopper.
For me, everything started to transform after that first crunch.