I doubt there is a town in Mexico that does not have its coterie of vendors.
Vendors selling bracelets in restaurants. Vendors selling t-shirts from carts. Vendors selling shell sculptures.
Mexico is a land of entrepreneurs. And very clever entrepreneurs.
At one point the beaded necklaces on the board of a vendor very well could have been made by her. These days, it is just as likely that they were made by a 10-year old boy in Shanghai. (If you take the early morning bus, you can see the young women opening the "Made in China" packaging, and sorting the jewelry on their boards.)
The fact that Melaque is a beach town means that we are blessed with an additional level of shops -- the beachwear, inflatable toy, sandal shops. The kind of store you can find in Atlantic City.
I have been fascinated with one item each time I walk through (because each shop has imperially absorbed the sidewalk into its edifice) the stores. Tiny t-shirts.
I once suspected they were for new-born babies. They are far too small for any child over the age of three months.
And then I ran into this display of t-shirts. There is no doubt of the intended users. "Happy Puppy Melaque Mexico."
Even Dr. Watson could figure out those clues. The shirts are for tiny dogs (compare the size of the shirts to the tassels on that hammock). And they must be for the tiny dogs of northern tourists. That rather annoying slogan is in English, after all.
But I could be wrong. There is a fad in Mexico to own what could politely be called purse dogs. Usually chihuahuas with jeweled collars. I may have seen one of those shirts on the tiny dog of a middle class Mexican woman. Frankly, I tend not to notice little dogs.
There is some cachet amongst the bourgeoisie to sport English slogans. So, maybe the shirts are for the Mexican tourists. After all, they provide the lion's share of tourist pesos in Melaque.
Having said that, I feel sorry for the dogs. When Professor Jiggs was a young dog, I took him to PetSmart around Halloween. The dog costumes had just arrived. I looked through the pile and found a princess hat. You know the type. An elongated dunce cap with a scarf at the top.
I slipped it on his head. Several people walked by and commented how pretty she looked.
The glare in The Professor's eyes were enough to let me know that I had crossed a line. A line for which I would pay for 13 years. And I did.
So, I am a bit empathetic with the poor dogs sentenced to wear these things. Woofers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your dog chains.
On the other hand, some dogs tend to march to the beat of a different couturier. This guy seems to think he looks quite snazzy in his low-cut faux leopard jumper. He may be on his way to audition for the local transvestite show. But he looks too talented.
I think I have seen that look in his eyes before in PetSmart. I was probably one shot away from having my throat torn out.
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