Desmond Has His Barrow In The Marketplace
I may never go to a normal grocery store again. At least not while we are here in Singapore. The major chain here, Fairprice, isn’t bad by any stretch. Its got a good selection. The prices are decent. Its relatively easy to get to. But as I’ve talked about before not having a car makes bringnig home a whole weeks’ worth of items difficult, to put it mildly. Part of the the fix for this is Redmart. Redmart is an online grocery and home goods outlet. Much like Stop and Shop’s peapod service it is delivered to your door. Unlike peapod though, no perishables. So until recently two or three days a week I must still drag E to the store to get our meats, veggies, milk, and eggs. Until recently.
Saturday, after dinner, at the playground (where I get most of my information and adult conversation) I was told about the “wet market”. Apparently just four or five blocks away there is a marketplace in the middle of a square of food vendors. So the next morning after breakfast Emmet and I went for a walk. I only had a vague notion of where I was going. I knew the general direction and a pretty good idea of the scene I was hoping to see. As we walked I kept seeing people walking the opposite direction from us carrying bags of meats, and fish, and vegetables. I knew we were headed the right way. The vision in my head could not have prepared me for what we found.
It was about ten thirty Sunday morning. At only eighty two degrees, it was actually mildly comfortable. And did I mention it was Sunday? Sunday is the day ninety nine percent of people have off, and I think most of the neighborhood was here. There was barely room to walk among the stalls, and I couldn’t hear E over the shouts from fishmongers, butchers, and vegetable dealers. Emmet didn’t like the noise. But he loved the sights and smells. He kept wanting to touch the herbs, and smell the spice blends. It was amazing. No less than four fish stalls, two selling chicken, two selling pork, one with beef, and more fruits and vegetable tables than I could count. We bought some pork belly, and tiger prawns. Each was thirteen dollars for a kilogram. Half the price of the supermarket!
Since that day I go about every other morning after dropping E off at school to get our meats and veggies. But on weekends he comes with me. He;s gotten used to the noise, or come to tolerate it in exchange for the smiles, pats on the head, and small candies from the old ladies. Its awesome! I walk over, and get my breakfast. Sometimes a pastry, sometimes a bowl of noodles…..for two bucks! I could buy a different fish every day for two weeks. Some I don’t recognize, but I’ll try them anyway. I’ve even mad friends with the herb lady. She always asks what I’m cooking today and gives her opinion on what I should use to flavor it. Today she had put aside some eggplants for me. When I approached her stall she smiled and reached under the counter to reveal three beautiful fresh Japanese eggplants and said “ I hoped you were coming today look what I have”…..sweet.
So like I said I may never set foot in the grocery store again. The market is too fresh, too exciting, too cheap, and too personal to give up. Now all I have to do is pick one of the fish vendors to make friends with!