Monday, December 12, 2011

At The Wet Markets

Outdoor wet markets Asian style are interesting to me simply because it's chock-a-block of colors, sights and smells. Oh those smells. They can either make my hair stand or induce a serious food craving sometimes. Generally, the smells don't bother me too much, especially not in winter and at this comfortable temperature. I wore boots, and the splashes of water didn't matter. I put aside the general pain of watching a live creature die (some say vegetables scream too, in the form of an electrical pulse), and headed out to the not too shabby wet market in Mong Kok.

I saw snakeheads being chopped up, live chickens squawking in a panic as their throats were slit. There were slabs of meat, lots of pork and the most intriguing display of large pig's ears. I saw oysters being dried in the sun, and 2 black dogs casually lounging next to it. Fairly certain that they were guarding the the precious stock. It was awesome to linger, stop and stare at the wares at each stall. But the shopkeepers were probably not too happy that I was browsing so intently, but not buying. I had to tuck the camera away and sneak these photos without incurring their wrath.

Rounding the corner to the streets, there were lots of stalls selling dried seafood for soup, flavoring in dishes and medicine. Lots of salted fish hanging out with that familiar pungent smell. Waxed duck abound too, along with other unrecognizable (to me) bits and pieces of some animal or insect.

There was nothing to buy here that we couldn't get at home. The man didn't want extra bottles chu hou sauce ( 柱侯酱) for his Chinese beef stew. There're 2 more bottles in the larder. Nothing else needed since we wouldn't be cooking or hosting any parties this festive season. He was totally enthralled browsing through the area of offerings at the wet market, many of which he had never seen in his life. Stuff at Tekka Market doesn't count. Our 'wet markets' have been sanitized, in a good way for hygiene, and in a diddly, lost part of their kaleidoscopic identity.

Can you see those huge pig's ears? 

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