I thought I'd post a few pictures of the local scene out here in the countryside of Malaysia. There is an awesome wet market in the middle of the city that is located inside a giant industrial-looking building that has been gutted to make room for dozens of vendors. A wet market basically means that they sell food there...produce, meats, spices, etc...as well as textiles, flowers, and pretty much anything you can think of. My good friend Anne took me to this market for the first time to show me all of her favorite stalls. This is the lady who sold me a flat of eggs (I think there were 30...we used them surprisingly quickly and I keep wondering why you can only buy them in packs of 12 in the States?)
Here is a nice man cutting up my chicken. I have to admit I was a little squeamish to buy my chicken like this...I want my poultry completely unrecognizable and sealed in sterile, cellophane-wrapped trays with as little mess, bone, skin or other gook as possible. Yeah, I'm a weenie. So it was a new experience to watch vendors on either side of me with live chickens, just waiting for a lull in sales so they could pull one out of a crate and start hacking away.
I said he was a nice man because he actually DE-BONED my chicken for me!!! Isn't that nice. I will go back there again. And he double-bagged my chicken so the gooky one was inside a nice clean one. He also gave me the bones he cut out so I could make soup or something. He was very nice. It doesn't change the fact that I want to yell "unsanitary!!!" every time I walk in here.
And here is the nice lady that actually owns the chicken stall. (Until I learn these people's names, everyone will be nice lady and nice man because that is what I tell John..."that nice lady is going to give us some chicken"...or "that nice man took the bones out becuase mommy hates doing the busy work"...like that). She really is nice but I wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley. She wielded that cleaver like it was a toy and she was hacking those whole chickens into tiny pieces like they were toothpicks.
Upstairs at one end of the wet market is a plethora of food stalls jammed next to each other like sardines. We had some beef noodle soup from one stall and I got a sugar cane drink from another. The picture shows the drink stall with the sugar cane leaning up against the side. I think the 3 tanks of gas (at the bottom) were for the beef noodle place next door. It is cramped, messy, a little smelly and totally busy...I can't wait to go back, it was so much fun!