Tag Archives: market

Bread alone.

I love markets.  Boy.  I love markets.  I loved our market in Brixton (though it’s changed something awful now), and I loved our market in Cagayan, particularly once I’d learned to navigate it properly.  Enter here, it’s stinky hanging meat everywhere – blech (snobby vegan priviledge…I can turn my nose up at stinky meat), enter there it’s the too-quiet dry goods corner, ergo lots of people chit-chatting away right up to the point that those two really tall Americans (because Chris was always American to them…poor guy) walk up and then it’s stare-central and a couple of, ‘You’re so height, man!’  Nope, it had to be entry number 3 – eggs and fruits, and a ninja-like entry, speedy as I could walk, smile here, nod there, and off to the vendors with whom we most liked doing business.

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The Problem with Ukay-Ukay

When Chris and I made our first trip to the market in Cagayan de Oro, it was a trip indeed.  So many sights, so much newness to take in that it remained a blur until the fourth or fifth trip, when the market seemed less like a cursed labyrinth with no escape and more like mildly methodical madness.   I’m sure Filipino wet markets are quite relaxed in comparison to the rest of the world.  Pinoys don’t shout about their wares; they might say hello to a new face, but it’s not like in East London, for example, where, as the market day comes to a close, one can hear the most authentic Cockney committing to rock-bottom prices on flowers, nectarines, or potatoes.  There is meat and fish hanging about, but in every market I’ve been to, it’s all kept in the same place, so that with a little effort I can avoid that part of the journey all together.  Not that I ever remember which entrance to the market marks the meat section:  Cogon is as big as a small city block, and surrounding the entirety of the market are little stalls built into its exterior selling pirated DVDs, cell phones and the like, brooms and plastic buckets of all sizes and shapes…even malongs and sandals (called chinelas here).  Around these stalls are more fruit vendors (or fruiterers, my Londoners [lame excuse to use that word, I know…but I love it]), as well as vendors of baked goods, used jewelry, mani, knives and sharpeners…on one corner there is usually a blind man playing old soul tunes on his guitar for money.

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