Saturday, August 18, 2007

competitive farmers' market shopping

First thing on the agenda this morning was to stop at the farmers' market. The market here is totally unlike the normal laid-back atmosphere you find everywhere else. The merchants arrive early, but there's no shopping until 9:30. So a crowd of people waits just at the entrance to the market, strategizing about who's going after the greens, who's headed for papayas first, and so on. As soon as 9:30 arrives, the stampede begins. By 9:45, we'd made all our purchases and were ready to head onward.

Unfortunately, the digital camera may have died during snorkeling today (see below), so my pix of the market didn't survive, but the setting is breathtaking: it's in a field at the foot of a tall, jagged mountain, surrounded by greenery. Some merchants were local artisans, selling shell necklaces, clothing and pillowcases, pottery, and sculpture. Most, though, were selling farm produce, including one fellow with what had to be 30 pound jackfruit. (I sampled some. To me, it tasted a bit like lychee.) He said all the fruit came off a single tree in his back yard. Considering how much cleanup is involved with most fruit and nut trees, I guess if you have a jackfruit tree your only option is to sell the fruit preemptively before it drops--or to learn every jackfruit recipe in existence and have a lot of friends over for feasts.

After the market, we rendezvoused at the "secret beach" from yesterday. I decided to risk the $10 camera on a snorkeling trip. I tried to make sure the zip-lock bag was water tight, but it turned out later it wasn't, so unfortunately the camera got soaked. It's drying now. Once it's thoroughly dry, I'll try a new battery and see if it still works. If it doesn't, I won't be able to post pictures till I meet up with Coppertop, since she has the fancy digicam. Most of the reef was covered in brown algae (fertilizer runoff from the adjacent golf course, perhaps?), but highlights of snorkeling included a spiny sea cucumber, at least two species of nudibranchs, and not one but two large sea horses.

No comments: