Friday, January 30, 2009

I Met the Mango Lady: Making Money in Miami

I met the Mango Lady and she sells fruit to make ends meet. She's one of several people that I've met in my daily travels on foot, bus and train. For about $2 a day --round trip costs with a discounted monthly metro pass -- I commute to a traditional office job. The trip is cheap and I get to see a lot for my money.

And I learn more about the economy. Here's a short sketch of the people I see:

Mango Lady: She pushes a wagon of fruit purchased from a wholesaler and then sells her fruit on the street. Her wagon contains pineapples, oranges, mangoes and other fruit.

Orchid Man: Today the Orchid Man had a cart of white orchids for $8 each. His traveling floral store also contained red roses. But I couldn't see all of the price as I walked by.

Sock Peddler: Traveling east on a bus, a middle-aged man opened a plastic bag filled with a wide variety of tube socks. I did not need socks. I smiled. He smiled and closed his bag.

Sweat Shop: From a wire cart --old school grocery cart -- a woman sold all kinds of sweat suits. She had a brisk business. A pair of sweat pants were about $12, but I shook my head. Besides the athletic store near my office had cheaper prices due to a super red tag sale.

Cafe to Go: At one bus stop, a woman sells hot coffee from a thermos, which she pours into small paper cups. Her cafe also includes breakfast snacks, and she even sells brown bag lunches to commuters leaving for their jobs.

I see all of that either before or after I go to work.


Here's how to buy my book:

@ Barnes & Noble
@ Borders

1 comment:

pamela said...

Welcome to the underground economy. There is lots of it here in L.A. - street vendors - regular yard sales around empty lots on the weekends - It has been confined to the ethnic trade - but as we get broker and broker, I bet we see more of it - We just bought a set of good used Michelin tires (probably off a wreck) recently at our Armenian tire place rather than get a set of new ones.