Market Madness

Today was a market day here. The market at Camana Bay is advertised to run from noon to 8 pm. Any time we’ve arrived at noon or later, we are sadly disappointed, because the best of the produce is long gone! The only exception is one of the mango stands. Charlie has to set up another fruit stand in Grand Harbour before making his way to Camana Bay to set up in the thick of things.

There are days when we really don’t want to be at the market in the “thick of things”. The first time we went, I thought I’d never seen so many strollers. I had to fight my way through the nannies to get some good Japanese eggplants. If you want the variety of local greens; spinach, arugula, callaloo and lettuce; you need a combination of polite assertiveness and patience. People are polite and patient here. I haven’t really seen some of the aggressive pushing and shoving that we’ve seen on other islands, which shall not be named here.

Sometimes I’ll buy a bag of fresh greens without even knowing what it is. The market greens stay fresh so much longer than anything we can buy in the grocery store. Today I bought four different bags of greens from two different vendors, just because I could.

I finally bought some local bananas and plantains. When we buy bananas here we buy them green. By the time we get home they are ripe. I’m kidding, but it’s only a slight exaggeration.

We didn’t see as many strollers today, but there were a few wee babies. This island seems to have a large number of young families. Instead, today, there was a professional photographer with a very large camera. I tried to stay out of the way. I wasn’t looking my best!

So it turned out that our strategy to go to the market a bit earlier, but not too early, paid off. I didn’t buy any eggplants today, though, as I thought I’d give my husband a break from my eggplant obsession. I’ve been trying different types of eggplant and a few different recipes. My new project will be to try eggplant recipes from around the world!

Today was about salad greens and mangoes. It was also about trying to stay cool. Since the rainy weather has stopped, we’ve had temperatures around 30 Celsius and 75 to 85 percent humidity. So, even though I can’t really stay cool, I am trying to stay relatively dry. My face was dripping by the time we left the market. I blasted the Amigo‘s air conditioning to the maximum for the ride home. I know, it could be hotter, or worse, it could be cold outside!

In addition to the humidity, we have huge waves. I guess we are into the hurricane season, so maybe everything is just a bit steamier and more volatile. We watched the waves come right up over the beach at the nearby shopping corner, known to locals as the four-way. Even in our air conditioned home I couldn’t cool off. I finally went for a swim,( in the pool, not in the wildly rough sea)which seemed to do the trick. I’m still hoping for some calmer days to get my sea swim fix.

As for the market purchases, the variety of greens and the local baby cucumbers made a nice salad for our supper. There is a different flavour to everything here. The spinach is stronger tasting and thicker. The arugula is large and has quite a bite. The tomatoes have a thicker peel. I haven’t tried the local bananas yet, but I bet they’ll taste different, too.

Then we have the mangoes. Enough said.





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