Earlier this year I was in France visiting friends. I spent some time in the Alps skiing, but couldn’t resist a few days in the world’s city of gastronomy, Lyon.
Markets are always a drawcard for me when I travel. Les Halles didn’t disappoint. The cheeses were so beautiful and varied that it was hard to chose which ones to indulge in. Only the price was limiting!
Les Halles de Paul Bocuse, Lyon.
On a long weekend in KL (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia for a friend’s wedding we went to the local Sunday markets in Shah Alam. Everything about the markets was vivid, from the colourful fabrics, scarves and clothing, to the vat-like containers of intensely bright sugary drinks, the cheap Chinese gaudy toys that would last a day before they became landfill, the intense perfumes and smells, the crowds of people and the moisture saturated heat.
Later in the cool of the air-conditioning in our friend’s house we cut into the spiky skin of the dragon fruit. Vivid fuschia, succulent, juicy flesh shouting out at us – EAT ME! And so we did.
In Zanzibar one of the greetings is ‘Mambo?’ which could be responded to in various ways. My favourite was ‘Freshi’. I have always thought this was a great answer to a greeting. It is so much more colourful than the standard responses of ‘good’ or ‘fine’.
It evokes in me a memory of those years I spent on that island; idyllic in so many ways, yet struggling with its identity, and struggling on its road to development while trying not to get lost in the influx of tourism and all the positives and negatives this industry has created.
Fresh Produce in the Market, Zanzibar
The market was always a somewhat chaotic place; a cacophony of colour, movement and noise, with the constant bustle of people searching for and buying their wares, chatting, gossiping, calling out their sales pitch and of course the constant greetings.