Thursday, July 15, 2010

Market shopping

Whenever I run along the canal, I see an outdoor produce market that opens in the wee hours of the morning. Every time I think, "I should come here," and then I don't.

I want to go there because I have a strong suspicion that the prices are much cheaper than the grocery stores. But more importantly I want to go there because it reminds me of how we used to live here (seriously, if you don't like me going all grandma on you, you just shouldn't read my blog). We used to have a produce market like this at the bottom of our building where I bought 90% of my produce, and even some of my meat (that's right, we live on the edge!). It was so cheap I remember one time walking away with 10 lbs of food for $1.50.

Finally this morning I dragged the kids out on their bikes, threw my panniers on mine, and headed down there (it's about a mile away). Since it was already 9 a.m., the place was really hopping. I unfortunately only had about 20Y of small bills and several hundreds. 100Y bills are death at places like that because no one wants to take them, but thankfully the man selling asparagus did. Altogether though, I only spent about 50Y (about $7.50) and walked away with carrots, cucumbers, eggs, lettuce, asparagus, bananas, rice, peaches, and a large fruit called "ha mi gua." I don't know what it's called in English, but I would call it, "sweet piece of heaven in my mouth" and it looks like a melon. The man who sold it to me said I was the first foreigner he'd even seen in that market, which made me rejoice just a little. The kids confirmed this by saying they'd been barraged by questions at the playground and were quite ready to go home. I told them next time they should stay with me, because that guy gave me a piece of ha mi gua for free and it was delicious.

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