1980, Luxor, Egypt
Plate 23, 27x18
We were at Luxor in southern Egypt working with the University of California, who had provided us with a house and a cook. The produce man was Egyptian, but our cook was an American. To pick the produce order she would just point to what she wanted. However, this left the question of payment. To this day, I am not at all sure how they resolved that question.
We would see the produce man about three times each week. He was friendly but intent, and I would have much enjoyed talking to him since we were both merchants. His setting was in a distant land that had fallen behind Europe and America, yet his produce was select and the variety changed, at least partially, on each visit. He seemed to sense when the cook wanted to see him, and his prices were in line enough for her not to have to resort to buying everything that we needed in the local stores. He had all the trappings of a modern day merchant, yet in a thousand year old setting.