Markets are another favorite place to visit when I travel. I feel that a visit to a market is the quickest, easiest and one of the most enjoyable ways of immersing oneself in to the pulse of the daily lives of a city or town. Here you rub shoulders with the local people going about their daily chores and activities of living. Here you get to see them raw, natural and real. You also get to see, smell, touch and if you are lucky, taste some of the local cuisine, specialities and fruits.
Today, I invite you for a short tour of my local night market which is held on Sunday evenings where market vendors take over several busy roads and set up their stalls and sell their wares. Most of the stalls will sell vegetables and fruits but poultry, meat and fish are also available. Another major section of the market will sell street or hawker food. Also available are hardware, homeware, clothing and even pirated VCDs and DVDs. The last two clearly are modern additions to the night market’s range of products.
Here you can see a typical fruit stall. This one happens to be selling the green coloured starfruit and the red-coloured rambutan.
The starfruit is a refreshing, juicy fruit which can be very sweet but can also be occasionaly sour. If cut in cross-section, it is star-shaped – hence its name.
The rambutan is a hairy fruit. Once you peel the skin, you will find revealed a sweet firm translucent flesh surrounding a woody seed. This flesh is very sweet and has been described as a firmer version of lychee.
Vegetables aplenty. Starting underneath the man’s basket and moving clockwise we have; a local form of lettuce, a local form of sweet leeks, green chillis, red chillis, okra or ladies fingers and round cabbages.
More vegetables and fruits. In the foreground, we have the brinjal which is similar and yet distinct from the eggplant behind it. Also in the picture are some local corn, chillis, cucumbers, four-angled beans, pineapples, carrots and one other item that I rather embarrassingly cannot remember its name.
Did I mention that you can also find flowers including exotic orchids like the one here?
There is also all kinds of hawker food representing the multi-cultural mix that is Malaysia. This includes Malay, Chinese, Indian and Thai food. It can be rice, noodle or buns. It can be fried, barbequed, steamed or boiled.
In this picture, you can see the famous “Fatman Steamboat” which is a buffet on wheels. You select from the spread of food provided, place the skewered food into boiling broth and cook it yourself. When cooked, remove, dip in sauce and consume.
By now, as you leave the market, you would have incredible will-power not to be leaving with bags of produce or a plateful or two of food securely in your tummy. See you again at the market next Sunday.