Asuncion Mercado - Everything you could possibly ever need. And more.
Looking for a way to spend a lazy afternoon in Paraguay's capital city Asuncion, a local recommended heading to the Mercado Municipal, the largest and busiest market in the city. About a 30 minute walk from the city center, the quiet residential houses lining the streets slowly started giving way to vendors, store fronts and crowds until I found myself in the of the maze of aisles, stalls and tents in the colorful, massive market that sprawls across multiple city blocks. The sights, sounds and smells of the market are unmistakeable, and the variety of products available is stunning - vendors offer fresh produce from the countryside, bootleg DVD's, electronics, tailored suits, horse feed, New York Yankees hats, indigenous crafts, clothing, exotic animals, household goods and anything else you could ever need. One highlight of the market I was drawn to was the area of street food stalls, it was easy to find since I just followed the tempting smells and smoke rising from the grills swirling into the sky. With all the choices the decision of what to eat was not easy, I ended up ordering a skewer of chicken and beef hearts from a smiling old woman and with her suggestion, washed it all down with an ice cold Pilsen beer, a great way to end the afternoon. I ended up leaving with a new thermos, a handmade hammock, a Paraguay futbol jersey, some new shades and a full stomach, all for just over $20.