The Local Market

We don't have any grocery stores here. There are two small minimarts that have yogurt, milk, packed and processed goods, sweets and drinks, but nothing in the way of of fresh produce. So a few times a week, I get on my moto and head down to the local market, where I buy our chicken meat, eggs, fruits and veggies. The market can be a bit hectic, and I've developed a route to a few of the same vendors who typically have what I need. A few weeks ago, Andrew had a lazy morning, and I took him with me. I'll show you photos of the same tour I gave him.

This is the fruit lady - an adorable older-auntie type who has lots of yummy fruit for sale.

These are the ladies I typically get most of my vegetables from. They hand me a plastic basket, I pick out what I want, and they total it all up for me.

This is the, um, "meat section." You can probably see why I don't buy beef or pork here...

Khmers love snails and crabs. Snails especially are a favorite snack, steamed then tossed in salt and dried chili.

This is my red-bell-pepper lady. I have a thing for red bell peppers and most of the time, she delivers.

Eggs! I normally buy the brown chicken eggs. The white large ones are duck eggs, which are fine, but have a funky texture.

I've never actually bought fish here, but I guess this would be a place to start...

This is one of the chicken vendors I buy from. I normally just ask for chicken breasts because I don't have the time/nerves/knowledge to hack up a whole chicken.

Right below the dead chickens, the live ones wait their turn. They slaughter the chickens in the market right next to the stands. Not very sanitary {at all}, but at least you know it's fresh!

If the first lady doesn't have fresh chicken breasts, I can normally pick some up from this lady, who also sells a variety of processed meats and has an adorable baby son.

This is an example of a dry goods shop where you can pick up anything else you need around the house - garlic, dry noodles, chilis, canned milk, peanuts, etc.

There are also lots of places to buy shoes and clothes in the market.

This is a final view from the outside.

And no market scene would be complete without a balloon seller.

I used to dread going to the market, but now I rather look forward to it. I like buying from the same people, having a relationship-of-sorts with them. Now that I've been going to the same ones for a while, they just treat me like another regular customer, and people are used to seeing me around the market. One day a moto driver called after me asking if I needed a ride, and another man drove by and told him in Khmer, No, she normally rides her moto here, she doesn't need a ride! I have no idea who the man was, but obviously he had seen me plenty of times in the market before.

I think that when we go back to the States, it will feel strange to buy groceries in an air-conditioned impersonal chain store. I might just become an avid farmer's market shopper...
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