How do you feel about markets? Markets make me feel happy and excited, for me they are always bustling with life, activity and expectations. They are many times the heart of a city or a village. You can feel the pulse of a place by the type of market and products it offers and you can learn so much about the culture, the food, the culinary tastes, the customs of people, just by observing, smelling and getting into the spirit of the place.
Many markets remain today local information centers where you can find out what is going on within the community. They also function as social gathering places where you can meet your friends, have some food and drinks and just enjoy the atmosphere.
I have been lucky enough to visit some very special markets, some felt like home, others excited me by showing me new cultures, smells and food I had never seen before.
Some also gave me hope about humanity. In spite of apparent hatreds and constant misunderstanding between different groups, some markets functioned like neutral, peaceful places where everybody offered a compliment, a kind gesture of acknowledgement and exchanges were made in a polite way.
Others were more closed and made me feel like an outsider, it takes time and patience to be trusted.
Others still, upset me for the constant hassle and insistence that reduced me to a very simple formula : possible tourist + money = will pay and buy anything we put before her eyes!
Finally, some bring me now so much sadness because due to war and internal conflicts they no longer exist as I saw and experienced them.
If you want to know more about some of the wonderful markets I visited around the world and others I am lucky to still be visiting here in Mexico, you are most welcome to check out my Markets page. There are posts on Middle Eastern, European and Mexican Markets.