I absolutely love the street market here in Salaya. It is everything that you would want to have near your apartment. The convenience of being able to get just about any kind of food or beverage within a few minutes of walking is just something that I am not used to from living in the United States.
Sure, we have 7-11's and other convenience stores on every block in the United States, but you cannot walk a minute and find yourself surrounded by a subcontinent worth of food items.
The other amazing thing is just how much the market can transform. When I got up this morning at about 5:00 am, the market was starting to come alive. It had various fruits and coffees for sale, and the breakfast carts were starting to fire up the stoves. The market tends to lull after about 9am from what I have seen, and really does not get going again until after about 5pm. Once the night hours hit though, the market really comes to life.
I am sure that part of it is living in the tropics, where a person wants to get most of the work/shopping/eating done during the cooler hours of the day.
The market itself is an amazing mix of sound and scent, with music always on in the background, the smell of cooking food mixing in with the general smell of way too many people in too small a space. There are dogs and cats everywhere, children running around selling items or playing in the corner, and carts of items constantly on the move.
It is a wonderful place.
The food is amazing, the atmosphere is inviting, the people are friendly, and the entire place feels safe. I have only had one time so far where someone tried to take advantage of the fact that I am still new to the currency system. I have messed up on understanding how much was owed and people have been so friendly and helpful that I am in awe. I already have my favorite vendors and people smile and wave as they recognize you.
Market during the daytime
Market at night
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