Off to the Market

Off to the Market

To those of you who still think going to grocery shop is a matter of driving on a freeway, parking in a big lot and browsing endless rows, never noticing the person next to you, my sad condolences. Shopping is the number one event in a cruisers life; it is the hardest, the most fun, the most adventurous, the most unpredictable chore we do. It also always guarantees you will interact with people with whom you do not share a language or culture but will be warm, curious, and very very helpful.

We have been to public markets in many exotic places, one of the biggest treats of the voyage. We had crew kayak to the market in Niue where the 1400 residence could only by produce one day a week and it ended by seven AM. We went to markets that only occurred when after the Copra Ship had delivered the goods. The market in a small village is the epicenter of activity, it brings the community together, think about that when you hustle about with you cart next time.

Today we went to the Tomias Village Sunday Market. We bought 30 eggs for $3.80, they were free range—or backyard or road or beach-chickens that laid those eggs. The same chicken I nearly creamed in the road on the scooter laid those eggs. No artificial gobble de gook was added. That Chicken worked for every cornel it ate. We bought flour, scooped out of a barrel into a plastic bag we provided. We bought Coca-Cola, ok I have not entirely gone native.

We met everyone at the market and they all were interested in what we were doing and wanted to help. The crowd followed the girls from one stall to another. Various people tried to be translator with various degrees of success but we always communicated. Prices were written, signed and haggled over all while the gleaming crowd observed. A chap in an old US Army jacket appeared and showed off his English. Muslim women showed us beautiful hand beaded garmets.

The village children followed us up the street, to the market, while shopping and back to the dinghies. Their beaming smiles were our constant companion. One young girl had a Mickey Mouse shirt on so I taught them the chorus to the Mickey Mouse Theme song and they all sang along—MICKEY MOUSE!!!!

We schlepped the bags back to the water front, waded to the anchored dinghy. Loaded them into the dink and headed across the breakwater into the rougher water. Simone’ grasped the 30 eggs as she bounced up and down on the dink in the rough water. Once at the boat we unloaded the dinghy and stowed the goods. This was a typical a market day as you can get.

We all participate in market day. We all love it and we all will never glumly walk the isles of another Safeway oblivious of those around us.