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La Boqueria

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010

Today I went to check out a famous market here in Barcelona called “La Boqueria.” It is famous for its variety of fruits, nuts, spices, fishes, and other goodies. Its central location has allowed it to become a tourist hot spot. As a tourist, you mostly go there “look” at the products, not necessarily buy the products. As a local, though, this is a place where you come to get your ingredients for dinner. I spotted an elderly woman with a wheeled basket trying to get past a group of tourists who were blocking her way as she was trying to pick out some fruit. When I commented this scene to my host mom, she simply said, “That’s the reason why I hate going to La Boqueria. It’s such a hassle to go buy something when there are so many people who aren’t buying anything. Then the sellers raise their prices because they know tourists come. I prefer to go to the local market down the street. They may not have a huge variety but at least it isn’t crowded and prices are a bit cheaper.”

I know I was fascinated by La Boqueria because I am not used to seeing huge markets back in the Bay Area with a great variety of fresh produce. La Boqueria has gone from a local market to a market for tourists. When I visited I only bought a plate of ready-to-eat pieces of watermelon, however, there was a huge variety of already cut fruit and fruit smoothies all ready for the hungry tourists. Sure having these tourists in town can increase the business for the sellers of La Boqueria but it can, in a way, disturb the peace of the locals who are just trying to buy their daily produce.

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Tags: Rebecca Gonzalez (Spain)

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