This weekend, Parn, my ex-roommate came to stay at my place. So we decided to go for shopping at a nearby local market and cook something for dinner together.


Now, the market… Actually, I love them. What I mean by market here is of course not the conventional supermarket with air conditioner. What I love is the traditional fresh market under the sky. When I travel to a different country, I cannot miss a visit to a local fresh market. I miss the local dialects thrown back and forth in the local

  • Sunday market in Kochi, Japan, my hometown. I smile to myself how we got shocked to find lots of chicken cages right in front of the chicken meat shop in Kerala, India. (You can imagine how fresh the meat can be, right?) In a way, it gives me a sense of locality much more than museums and famous infrastructure, as markets are filled with things that directly speak to all senses.


    Here in Thailand also, you can find fresh market anywhere, and they are filled with mouth-watering smell of freshly cooked food, cheerful calling voices of all sellers, and people of all ages. How I wish I could go there as often as I like! It would be so great to be able to walk casually to the market after work and get some fresh food that you cannot get in normal roadside stalls.


    But the problem is, a local fresh market is a huge challenge for a totally blind woman to walk around. Wait, let me put it again. I can walk around, yes, my O&M teachers, but to get what I need?? Hmmmm… that’s a different story. The small vendors constantly changes their spots. The market is normally packed with people, so my beloved white cane cannot be of much help (Otherwise I’d trip and poke a dozen of people there). Certain things are quite easy for me to detect, like grilled corn on the cob, grilled chicken, fresh and not-so fresh seafood, pungent durian, etc. But what about Chinese cabbage and tomatos? Eggs? Meat, yes, because I can hear the butcher cutting meat with bones with a big butcher knife. But how about bread and uncooked rice? Hmmmm, right?


    So a visit to the local market is a kind of luxury for me at the moment. Actually, there is a trick: I could take a motorbike taxi, and let the driver accompany me. But sadly speaking, those motorbike drivers are not keen shoppers like us many women… Someone techy out there, please invent a cool device that can shout out “Passing a meat shop!” and “Fruits to your right” to me.