Markets around the world. No, not stock markets.

Goa

Goa

spices

Indian spices, Goa

fruit sellers, boat to Mandalay, Burma

fruit sellers, boat to Mandalay, Burma

Colourful, vibrant, noisy, gaudy, delectable, aromatic, pungent, tacky, genuine, ‚imported‘.

Most makets we have visited over time conjure up some story we‘ve experienced or tastes we‘ve savoured. The main ingredient of these markets seems to be the cacophony of colours and textures which hit you as you merge within their stalls.

Lago Agrio, Ecuador

Lago Agrio, Ecuador

Goa

Goa, India

As the lady sits over her wares, a young girl practises tightrope walking near the beach.

Thai greens, Chiang Mai

Thai greens, Chiang Mai

Let the pictures tell the stories and imagine for yourself the plethora of aromas and the buzz of activity. In some places, the urgent need to sell that one bunch of whatever it might be can be detected by the sellers‘ demeanour, in others it seems to be as much an opportunity to meet and catch up with neighbours as to sell the produce.

Bangkok floating market

Bangkok floating market

Bangkok floating market

Bangkok floating market

If you can avoid it, don’t make the mistake I made of taking a tourist excursion to this floating market in Bangkok (above) where, for the most part, the majority of floating items were us, tourists, or rather the little boats we were in. Most goods, predominantly souvenirs, were being sold from stalls on the banks of the canal rather than vice versa. I was able to find a few floating boats selling mainly food but it was nothing like the Mekong Delta in Vietnam where the floating market was the real thing.

fish market in Pwin Oo Lwin, Burma

fish market in Pwin Oo Lwin, Burma

Lashio

Flower girls, Lashio, Burma

taking a nap, Lashio, Burma

taking a nap, Lashio, Burma

Betel leaves and bananas, Lashio, Burma

Betel leaves, coconuts and bananas, Lashio, Burma

and for a close up look at what they use the betel leaf for:

betel

betel quid for chewing, Burma

Lashio

Lashio market during the monsoon season

Markets in Ecuador:

Galapagos

a pelican browsing in the fish market, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos

Otavalo

haggling over cattle, Otavalo, Ecuador

Otavalo

Otavalo

Otavalo, Ecuador

Otavalo, Ecuador

Otavalo

Shopping done and it's home to cook lunch, Otavalo

I like this photo (above) because it shows the contrast in pace of life between men and women in some situations. Here we can see the woman with child on back and shopping in hand rushing along, presumably to get home and get on with her chores, while in the background you can see the man idling at the church door ‘minding his own business’ seemingly without a care in the world.

Fedoras and other hats galore

Fedoras and other hats galore, Otavalo, Ecuador

We bought a fedora for our son from this garage outlet near Otavalo market in Ecuador a few years ago and my son still wears it today.

He was window shopping, in I think it was Jermyn street in London, a few months back and entered one of the hat shops. The very stylish sales assistant asserted when he saw my son’s fedora that it was made in Italy (he even looked inside the hat) though my son assured him that his parents had bought it for him in Ecuador.
The interlocutor insisted that while his parents (ie: we) might have purchased it in Ecuador, it was definitely made in Italy. That made us smile. We saw them shaping the fedoras in the back room of that garage in Ecuador. Here’s a picture of Tomek in that very hat.

Tomek in fedora

Tomek in a fedora

more Thai vegetables, Chiang Mai

more Thai vegetables, Chiang Mai

browsing in Pwin Oo Lwin, Burma

browsing in Pwin Oo Lwin, Burma

pottery

pottery being sold near the ferry pier, Mandalay, Burma

The smudges on the women’s cheeks is ‘thanaka’, a paste made from ground bark which is used as a moisturiser and sun protector.

and now a few pics of my local market in Gdansk:

Polish gherkins, and also cabbage, in brine

Polish gherkins, and also cabbage, in brine

Gdansk market

raspberries in spirytus and hand knitted socks, Gdansk

Gdansk

the lady was re-positioning her goods so I could get a better shot.

When I asked the lady at this stand in Gdansk whether I could take a photo, she was happy to oblige and went about re-positioning her wares. I then felt compelled to buy the jar of fruit which she warned me not to serve to children. It is a home made concoction of raspberries and ‚spirytus‘ or rectified alcohol, 96% proof ( in the US that would be 192 proof…). She assured me it tastes best adding one spoonful to a strong cup of tea…

Last but not least, markets in Ethiopia:

Debark

Cotton shawls, Debark, Ethiopia

Lalibela, Ethiopia

Lalibela Saturday market, Ethiopia

Harar 'christian' market, Ethiopia

Harar 'christian' market, Ethiopia

Babile camels

Babile camel market, Ethiopia

When we visited this camel market, some 30 kms east of Harar, they tried to get our guide to make us pay an entrance fee which was not officially sanctioned. Not yet anyway, it might soon be though as we tourists are becoming a bit of a scourge in their eyes.

chat

Qat

Kat/Qat/ (pronounced chat): tons of this stimulant leaf is consumed daily and also transported from Harar in eastern Ethiopia to Somalia and Djibouti from where it is loaded onto ships destined for Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Because of the delicate structure of the leaf, it doens’t stay fresh for too long, hence the speeding trucks chasing along the road east of Harar every day with fresh produce. You want to keep out of their way.

5 Comments

Filed under Burma, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Food, Gdansk, Poland, Thailand, Travel

5 responses to “Markets around the world. No, not stock markets.

  1. Oonagh

    Pia you should make a book out of this it’s beautiful and the subject is great social economical and just super interesting xxxx

  2. Thank you, that is really sweet of you 🙂

  3. ania Regan Olsen

    I agree it would be great to have a book of all these ‘goodies’ !!! and your comments and more details about the adventures ! Still am crazy about the photo of the women selling fruit in the river, and have some new favorites now, the tightrope girl in Goa and the pottery photo with the girl with thanaka on her face also a very nice one, the three women at the Labilela market. Just don’t stop coming up with these wonders, pls !!!!

  4. ania Regan Olsen

    The Otavalo photo is great with that terrifying looking rope hanging down just ready for………….

    • that is actually the hand strap from my camera… which I (also) only realized long after posting that photo:)
      I was wondering where that noose came from…

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