Tag Archives: Street market

Book Lover’s Paradise: Koti Book Market

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Book Lover’s Paradise: Koti Book Market

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.   

Charles William Eliot

 

Have you every visited a heritage family home? Faded plastered walls, hanging chandeliers, wooden round tables and above all… smelled the lingering musty, rich smell of books and papers?

Those were the days… without the digital screens:Television, iPads, Tabs, and Kindle.

Those were the days… when reading and reading aloud was encouraged during family meal times and on cold winter nights. Reading not only stimulates the brain, but promotes conversation.

Those were the days… when birthday and anniversary presents came in the form of books – just black and white print.

My Sunday morning turned special, as I took my helper to buy books for her new college term. We took a long ride by bus to Koti, across the Musi river in Hyderabad. ‘Aunty, please’ she reminded ”Don’t start taking photos, else the shopkeepers will stare, or may raise book price’ and I smiled.

What a visual treat stretched out on the street off the bus depot! Being a Sunday less traffic means more road space. Books, books everywhere. Universal Book Centre, RajKamal Books, NeelKamal Book Centre and Famous Book shop and others have stood the test of time here. College students come flocking to Koti at the start of the start of new term. The shops dizzying, neat vertical rows of curricular books, was indeed promising.

Rows of shops selling academic and fiction books

Kothi, in Hindi and Urdu means house. During the Nizam era the area housed concubines and other women folk attending to the royal family. Kothi has some famous buildings that house long-standing educational institutes. The splendid architectural Women’s college and nearby Osmania University caters to medical, nursing and Arts courses. Nearby the Gandhi Gyan Kendra , a good place for Yoga courses is a 40 year-long establishment. Thus the business of selling academic books in Koti has been thriving for many decades, changing to the needs of the day.

Medicine, Astrology, Science, Grammar, Spoken English books as well as guides for competitive exams such as TOEFL, CAT, EAMCET are most sought after. Ruled notebooks, account ledgers, drawing books, stationary items are also sold at competitive price. Ever bought notebooks by weight? Come here, there’s no haggling. At a fixed price of Rs. 100/ per kilo for notebooks of A4 size we bought 3 kilos plus course books for Rs. 430/ at a discounted government rate for the CEC curriculum ( Civics, Economics, Commerce). Heavy! heavy I cried.

Second hand books on sale

Further on, the dirty dilapidated subway near Andhra bank is not the best place for a Sunday visual treat! Yet, deep under, on dark descending steps multitude of book sellers cater to second-hand academic books. Best buys for needy college students as they get a loan period and discounts at Rs. 150 – 300.

Such a heartwarming sight! Few college girls were deeply engrossed into comparing syllabus books at these second-hand shops. The thirst for  education, the need for term books and being pocket wise was obvious.Well done!

Second hand book market, Kothi.

Further under the canopy of trees, spread out on large plastic sheets fiction books,classics and children’s story books covered entire stretch of the pavement. Hemingway, Stephen King, Eliot,Tagore, Salman Rushie and new Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat, Jhumpa Lahiri. Ah! what a spread! Though a serious buyer or collector may frown upon the small print, brown pages, authenticity of editing and grammatical errors, the competitive price at Rs. 300-350 seemed like a bargain for just quick lazy reads. Take it or leave it, no haggling.

Arms heavy with carrying the buy of the day, it was time to head home. Popular street book markets are found in most cities. In my college days I often went to Flora Fountain, Mumbai to buy classics or second-hand books. Maybe, I should turn the clock and revisit.

Have you been to a street book market in your city? How was it different?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

 

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Postcards from Nagpur: City Market and a Town Market

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I take you through a photo journey of two markets, one in the city and other in a small town. One in Nagpur city, other on its outskirts on the highway in Kanhan. One brings out quiet, authoritative mood, the  other a lively, colourful ambience. Oranges, the winter’s bounty was  abundant in both, yet the city market stocked the round, unblemished oranges neatly piled high. In the street, roadside stalls, pushers and peddlars made brisk business.

Situated in central India, Nagpur is not only the winter capital of the state of Maharashtra but also the orange capital of India. It has the right winter temperatures, light rainfall and proper soil to grow this fruit. Famed for its juicy, thin skinned, sweet oranges this home grown mandarin fruit finds its way to local markets as well as the international stalls. Haldiram’s, a popular food enterprise has specially made an ‘Orange Barfi’ a boiled milk and sugar syrup based sweet dedicated to this city!

Photo courtesy: http://fnw.com/everestorangebarfi

Behind the Nagpur railway station stretches the fruit market. Logistic proximity to the trains that criss cross entire India, with Nagpur as its route centre makes this site more convenient than SitaBuldi market, which caters more to clothing and cotton products.

In the winter season when fruit is bountiful, the best crop is often sent to overseas markets or other parts of India. Sadly, the inferior quality often finds its way to the streets and push carts in Nagpur city, lament the locals. Prices range from Rupees 120 -180 per dozen, and are in fact nothing cheaper than other city price.

In contrast, here is a street market in the small town of Kanhan.

This industrial town takes its name from the river Kanhan that flows  through. Kanhan lies on the state highway route from Nagpur to Pench Tiger Reserve. Every weekday the market sets up in different sub areas, thus known by names of the week ‘Som bazzar, Mangal bazaar etc, Wasn’t I lucky to be at the right place at right time!

Street stalls, cycle peddlars, kiosks and push carts all made for a dramatic and hectic scene. Mounds of green peas, white cauliflower buds tight in their green flowery stalks, clusters of neatly arranged ginger and garlic pods sat on jute mats on the street.

In the midst of it all, the mild winter sun made a peep in and out of the clouds.

In and out wandered women in traditional border Nagpuri sarees and bright synthetic modern sarees. Old locals clad in dhoti or shirt and trousers haggled over prices to seek the best bargains.

As my camera took the better of me, passers by looked strangely..’click, click, click.’ Just one more, one more. Finally, a young vendor posed long enough for me, and I snapped up four kilo pea pods in return. Phew! what a task lay ahead to shell the pods for those little, crunchy, sweet peas on my train journey home! 🙂

For a spicy Nagpur style peas snack click here

Peas vendor

Nagpur ….I loved all the fresh vegetables and cotton dress materials much more..than I did your oranges. Didn’t get time to taste that ever so popular Barfi too. So next year, juicy, sweet Nagpur oranges will be bought fresh..right in my city!

Have you ever been to Nagpur? What did you see or buy?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

Focus 12: Types of Markets

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Markets are a common place, where goods are purchased and sold. Generally located centrally, markets need to be easily accessible by people and transport, thus soon becoming a hub of activity.

Different markets are set up for different needs: livestock, fresh vegetable and fruits, flowers, textiles and clothing and sundry items. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Asian Wet markets, New Zealand Art and Craft Sunday markets and Jaipur’s camel market are some examples. The type of market depends also upon the geography, logistics, the area of land cultivated and the people living nearby.

Some markets are covered, others work on open streets. Some even exist on waterways! Some are work at fixed place, some are ‘on the go’ operated using trucks or buses.

Indoor Covered Markets

In most big cities, the local municipal authorities designate an area for selling fresh produce, flowers, meat and poultry etc. The care and maintenance, infrastructure facilities for loading /unloading bays, toilet and food facilities are taken care of by the governing body. They are well covered and thus operational for longer hours and all weather conditions. The Asian Wet Markets, Mercato in Spain, Chatucheck market in Bangkok and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul are popular.

Courtesy: Internet /La Bouqueria, Barcelona

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Covered fresh produce market in France

Street Markets

Street markets work an a fixed day and fixed street. They may be seasonal in the colder countries. Depending on the weather, street markets sell seasonal items like winter clothing, summer fruits, varieties of handmade breads, bakery products and baskets. Watch out for the general chaos, traffic, and debris on the street, especially in densely populated countries. http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/shop/where-to-shop/street-markets-and-shopping-streets

Floating Markets / Boat Markets

When a country or province is criss- crossed by canals and water ways, like in Venice, Bangkok, Srinagar or Kerala, much of the community and livelihood depends upon the use of these water ways. In Bangkok, the Ayyuthaya kings developed connecting the canals and improving life along the banks. On Dal lake, Srinagar, is India’s only floating market where the graceful boats are bedecked with the valleys flowers and fruits.

http://www.thaiwaysmagazine.com/thai_article/2505_floating_markets/floating_markets.html

http://www.phuket.com/phuket-magazine/kata-market.htm

Flea Markets

Flea markets are a great place to buy second-hand stuff, cheap stuff and old goods. Probably they began as tourists disposing their collections. However, flea markets around the world exist in every nook and corner of a city and have regular business on a particular day of the week.

Singapore Flea market, tucked in a lane near Serangoon a quiet place. Items are placed on the street itself on cardboards or cloth. One can browse old antiques, junk maps for reuse, collectibles like pipes and screws and pens, variety of paper, tea pots, old clothes and hats.

In recent times, there are more than one Flea market catering to particular items. Check out, before you head to one.

Take a look at ‘what’s hot’ in the Flea market in Goa, India.

http://www.mustseeindia.com/Goa-Flea-Market/attraction/12843

Livestock Markets

Don’t worry if you are not buying a camel, goat or sheep. Enjoy a trip to the nearest livestock market and wander among the large cages housing livestock. It can be a great place for children’s education too. Beware of the stench of animal fodder and poo!

My  visit to Al Ain ( U.A.E) camel market was a wonderful experience in Arabic culture and offered a closer look at wobbly legged camel babies. Beware! this is a dusty, noisy place with the distinct smell of camels and other livestock. This traditional souq, situated near Bawadi mall is very popular with the locals. Guides offer to take you around for a small fee of 10 -20 Dirhams, narrating camel stories.

Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s markets or direct grower’s markets are found in most countries from America, Europe, India to Sri Lanka, Australia and more. The aim is to cut off the middle men, creating opportunity for the grower /farmer to directly sell his produce on a weekly or daily basis. In India, Rythu bazaar is one such model.

As a tourist in the small town Picton, New Zealand I visited a Farmer’s market. What delight! Fresh baked breads, assorted cheese cuts, hand-made candles and soap  were the novelty, other than the usual pumpkins, avocado and fresh seasonal berries.

Fresh vegetable stall at market

Fresh vegetable stall at market

Online Markets

In keeping up with technology, welcome to the online bazaars or markets. They cater to an ever-growing demand, mostly from a younger and educated population. Maybe cheaper, easier service just using the finger tips! Gone by are the days of picking up a basket, taking a brisk walk down the street, meeting people on the way and experiencing the freshness and activity typically seen in markets.

Flower Market

A visit to a flower market is always a refreshing experience. There’s always hectic buying and selling, pruning and caring for flower bunches, a wide display of colours in every hue and the faint fragrance hanging in the air. It’s not just fresh cuts like tulips, chrysanthemum, lilies one can buy – bouquets, garlands, garden plants, seasonal bulbs planted in trays and other decorative garden items beckon the visitor.

I’ve visited the Ghazipur flower market, Delhi, Dadar flower market in Mumbai, flower markets in Europe and Amsterdam. Truly, one can just sit with a paint brush and paper, trying…only trying to match Nature. For a narrative on Delhi Flower market see here.

https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/what-to-do/shopping/amsterdam-markets/flower-market

Pak Klong Talad is Bangkok’s biggest wholesale flower market. Its crowded, colourful, hectic and a rush on all the senses. People throng the market just after midnight, as truck loads arrive. Flower bunches need quick care and action for maintaining freshness till 3.00 to 4.00 am. Early morning is the most hectic time, when business is brisk.

What other kind of markets have you visited?  What was your experience?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

Photo Essay from Singapore: Chinese New Year

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Image result for chinese new year photos 2015

Courtesy: Internet Image

 

Thanks Maithilee and Sanika for dozens of colourful photos! They brought back a flood of memories of our stay in Singapore and the Chinese New Year festivities. Hope my readers will appreciate your enthusiasm that prompted me to craft this blog post.

‘Gong Xi Fa Xai’ or ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ the popular Chinese New year greeting at once reverberated in my head. I could almost visualize the street markets being decorated with abundance of red and gold festivities, flowers, posters and traditional Chinese outfits. As if night shopping and impulsive buying is the ‘need of the hour’ Chinese people and expat population flock to the street markets.

Chinese New Year was celebrated on 19 February, 2015. It is the ‘Year of the Goat /Sheep.’ The Chinese zodiac or Sheng Xiao is based on a cycle of 12 years, each year related to an animal sign. As it’s a Goat(or sheep) year, it’s common to hear greetings of Three Goats: profits and prosperity, peaceful, worry free life and plump health.

Now find out which animal represents your birth sign. Chinese believe health, family and fortune depend on the particular zodiac sign and personality traits resemble the animal character. Have fun!

Chinese zodiac sign Courtesy:bjchina.travel.com

Chinese zodiac sign Courtesy:bjchina.travel.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year : Year of the Goat /SheepChinese New Year: Goat ma

Chinese New Year: Goat mascot

More than a dozen street markets are conveniently located in the Housing Board developments (HDB) that dot Singapore’s geography. But the Pagoda street market, in the heart of Chinatown, is the place to feast your eyes upon. A month-long street light up, hanging lanterns, larger than life themed floats and ways side stalls beckon every pocket.. ‘Have money, will spend’ is the catch phrase. Here is a sample of photos sent by my friend as she headed to Chinatown.

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Around the world New Year celebrations differ culturally and in meaning.

For the Chinese around the world, it means flocking back to home and family in China (or at the place of elders in the country) and having a grand Reunion dinner around the festive table.

The items on the menu must include: long noodles, Mandarin and Pomelo, Kumquat fruit, Jiaozi dumplings shaped as currency, candied fruit, leafy greens and long beans, whole fish for fertility and prosperity and a tray of Togetherness with 8 items.

There’s so much local buzz and festivities in China, Singapore and Asia prior to the Chinese New Year – parades, street food stalls, River floats, night markets, street light ups and more. Be part of the festivities next year, if you’ve never seen one.

Till then, Gong Xi Fa Cai.

If you’ve seen Chinese New Year celebrations, do leave a comment about your experiences. What did you like? What did you buy? What did you eat? 

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

      

Aside

 Photo Contributions

Thank you dear friends and fellow blog readers for encouraging me to keep writing. But I feel, that a part of me now resides within you as some of you have begun to narrate ‘your’ experiences thorough your comments, emails and personal talk. You’ve begun noticing the layout design of fruit displays, culture of street food or festive market stalls and how weather plays a role in seasonal markets. Oh! it’s amazing how thoughts weave our stories together.

‘ “Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
Brian Tracy

So why not a blog post of reader contributions? Here are your photos.

 1. Summer Treat: Mangoes from Pune, India 

Last summer, Arundhati visited her home town, Pune. In India, summer announces the arrival of mangoes. Ratnagiri, coastal Maharashtra, is renowned for its fruit, it is neatly packed into small wooden crates and cardboard boxes and distributed to the nearest big city markets of Mumbai, Pune and Nasik. As Arundhati made her buy, she promptly sent me a box, albeit via email!

Over 100 varieties of mangoes are grown in India, but Alphonso, locally termed Hapoos reigns supreme! Introduced to coastal India by a Portuguese sailor, these highly aromatic and fleshy prized variety of mango brings instant smiles and conversations on the dinner table. Best eaten freshly sliced, mangoes do sneak into desserts like shrikhand,  phirni, ice cream and  milkshakes.

Mangoes sold at a stall in Pune

Mangoes sold at a stall in Pune

2  Traditional Rice Baskets: Bangkok, Thailand

Friends visited the Chatuchak market that was bursting with local and expat crowds. After hearing an endless banter about items: table mats, printed sarongs, Buddha statues, incense sticks, fake jewellery even colourful rubber slippers that could be bought at cheap prices, I sheepishly asked ‘Do you have even ONE photo for my blog?’. Groan……moan…

Finally, ain’t I lucky with this one ?

Rice Baskets, Thailand

Rice Baskets, Thailand.

My friend, Swati, is an artist, never missing an eye for detail. Needless to say wooden statues and Buddha carvings, tucked into a dark shop, with limited ventilation, at a Bangkok market caught her fascination. Inspired to create another painting, Swati ?

Statues on sale

Statues on sale

3. Enjoy Street Food in Shanghai

On a recent visit to Shanghai, hubby went in search of  local food in the street market. He brought home some treats of noodles, flat- bread coated with sesame seeds and rice cakes. More rewarding though were the photos he clicked for me:) Hubby knows my passion, rather addition to blog writing.

3. Horse Milk and Berry fruit: Kazhakstan.

Having relocated to an exotic distant land, Arundhati is now in Atyrau Kazhakstan. She is an ardent follower of my blog, and here is her contribution.

‘Drasvitiyet or Hello’ from Kazhakstan. In summer lots of berry type fruits are available here. Musk melon and water melon grow plenty, near Atyrau city,where I now live. The sandy soil is rich in minerals and good for melons. The place is nearby to Caspian Sea. Once upon a time, it was all sea here. After sub-zero freezing winters, summer temperature goes to high of 40 degrees, berry fruit thrive.’

‘Both Almaty and Atyrau are very beautiful places. Bordered by mountain ranges on one side that are fully snow-covered in winter, the city resembles mini Switzerland! Almaty is the economic center of Kazakhstan and Astana is the capital city. Prior to 1995, the country was part of USSR. 

Milk vendors - Kazhakstan

Milk vendors – Kazhakstan

Horse meat is commonly eaten here and horse milk is popular drink. The two elderly ladies, in the photo, selling horse milk claim to be 90 years old, and healthy ONLY  because of drinking horse milk!’ she muses.

Thank you so much for your little guest post Arundhati!

5. Trader Joe’s supermarket, New York

‘Mummy….here’s food for your blog’ said my younger daughter, as she made her holiday purchases in New York. Comparing them to Coles Supermarket in Sydney, where she often buys her daily groceries, she has become more aware of fresh seasonal fruit on the shelf, layouts of items differ at different supermarkets, space and staff are noticeably different and wide open parking spaces may not be available in big city centres.

Supermarket shelves at Trader Joe's

Supermarket shelves at Trader Joe’s

6. Chinese New Year markets, Singapore 

A dear friend Maithilee and her daughter, religiously went photo-shopping into the streets of Chinatown, Singapore. Camera in hand, and eyes set on souvenirs for ‘Year of the Sheep, 2015’ they came home with plenty. Thank you very much! My heart now yearns to be part of the vibrant market during ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy‘ celebrations!

Popular varieties of flowers and Chinese lanterns at market stall, Chinese New Year, Singapore

Popular varieties of flowers and Chinese lanterns at market stall, Chinese New Year, Singapore

Malls, housing estate street markets in Singapore (and China) suddenly burst alive with traditional Chinese New Year colours of ‘Red and Gold.’ Street markets are densely packed with a variety of decorations, festoons, Chinese paper lanterns, prosperity dolls, fake fire crackers and gift money bags – all related to the New Year customs. Markets are open late into the evenings, and get more crowded. The night before the Chinese New Year, streets are brimming with people who arrive in large numbers to savour local Chinese food and enjoy the bargain sales – everything MUST GO!

Chinese New Year festivities sold in street markets, Singapore

Chinese New Year festivities sold in street markets, Singapore

Carrefour hypermarket dressed up in Chinese New Year festivities

Carrefour hypermarket dressed up in Chinese New Year festivities

The main street of Chinatown area, Singapore is brightly decorated with lights, lanterns and a larger than life statue of ‘God of Prosperity.’ The Chinese society is materialist and has strong business culture, money thus plays an important role.

Some more photo contributions from other friends as they visit the Sim Lim area and Bras Basah street markets during Chinese New Year 2015.

Here’s wishing my Chinese friends and readers ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy’ or Happy New Year 2015.

That’s all for now. Rest your legs after this world tour!

Remember to keep sharing your experiences, writing comments and travelling the world with me.

Till then..

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

–Theodore Roosevelt.

  

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Contributions