Midday Market

7 Jul

Sunday and Wednesday are the two days I set aside for grocery runs these days. After my morning Pilates teaching, I had stopped to get some things at the supermarket, but I save the vegetables and such for the neighborhood market, as they are fresher and usually cheaper there.


Knowing that everything shuts down around lunchtime and for a couple hours thereafter, I decided to wait until 2:30 to head out. The sun was peeking out behind just a smattering of thin clouds, but somehow there was a respectable drizzle coming down, heavy enough to dampen my clothes (but not my spirits!), but light enough that a careful eye could watch the air currents through the movement of the droplets. It took me around ten minutes to arrive. Alas, I was still too early. I was able to grab some potatoes, and some greens, and a block of tofu, but the produce I wanted most were all covered up and unattended. Naptime wasn’t over yet.


I waited around and got to watch the market slowly reawaken. The butchers set out their wares again and turned on the lights over their counters. Vendors filtered in and uncovered tables covered with produce. A middle-aged woman sat up from her worn reclining lawn chair, rubbed her eyes, and started putting her change box in order. As the market eased back into life for the afternoon, I finished filling my red Trader Joe’s bag with young Shanghai greens, cai xin, and a bag of lettuce for the rabbit, and began to walk back home.

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