Wet markets for the curious

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Troves of home sundries & nostril-stinging spices for the treasure hunter.

Wetmarket Storefront

The Wet Market: a place to find (almost) everything...from tiny picks to dig out one's ear wax to an entire restaurant's daily kitchen supply. Something very familiar in a tropical island wet market is spotting the coconut man! Here's one in a homely checkered apron hard at work, grating & juicing the coconuts for any and every curry recipe you would be wanting to get your hands on. An old fashioned metal juicer is used to squish the coconuts as the pieces gets fed through two tumbling studded pins. Fresh coconut milk is collected in a little bowl at the bottom. On another side would be a medieval spinning device, which is basically a modified nail used to scrape & grate the coconut flesh out of the husk. The result is luxuriously fluffy desiccated coconut. The smell is addictive. Here's a favorite:
sliced banana
palm sugar drizzle
coconut flakes sprinkle
Yes, please.

Though called a wet market, there are also many dry goods stalls, such as the one here behind a large umbrella, selling incredibly soft cotton nighties and other home goods. Keep your distance unless you intend to buy something, or you just wanted to test your high-speed-friendly bartering for countering intensely-persuasive salesmanship. As you can imagine, competition for sales gets fiercer as the day draws to a close. The best time for a bargain or two, as they say, is going early in the morning and being the morning's very first customer. 
You can also ogle at tiny mountains of fiery hot Bird's Eye Chili that'll make your eyes water. Weighed by the kilogram, the photo above is a vendor laid out on the edge of the bridge over a swirling river. Careful that inventory doesn't go over the eddies! These little fiery chillies are weighed by the kilogram, and sits meal-side at every Indonesian table in the form of homemade Sambals.

Here, shallots are sold by the sackful, and vegetables by the serious bundle. Vendors at such wet markets are often women. They tend the fields in the day, look after their children, oversee all household duties. As evening draws near, they head to the wet markets to sell their produce. That's women with substance.

Looking at seasonal fruits Mangosteen & Custardapples, do we see a durian on the ground? Time to put down the camera and start eating.

The Asian wet market, every one is the reflection of a unique culture and a true destination in itself! Step this way for the spoils, till next time...

Visiting wetmarkets

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