I’ve always been a strong believer that if you want to know a country you have to get to know the locals, even if the language sometimes doesn’t help. It was with this thought in mind that I headed towards a market in Java.
I don’t know if it was pure luck or if it was the time of year, but when I entered that commercial place in Pacitan, East Java, there wasn’t a single foreigner in sight.
The day starts very early for the Indonesian people. It isn’t strange that at 5:00 am the streets are already full of life. Therefore, when we arrived at that market in Java, around 10:00 am, the feeling was almost that the party had ended.
Some stalls were already closed. Maybe business had been good and the owners decided to go home early. Or maybe it was time to give up sales for the day and try their luck tomorrow.
But those who remained at their place, persistent, soon threw smiles at the tourists who had just entered, aka, us.
Big smiles in this market in Java
In that place, I couldn’t find a soul that spoke English, but that didn’t stop them from showing their products and attract buyers with all those colors and smells.
Here I tested my new Fuji. After showing them my intention to take their photograph, some were more extroverted, others shyer. But they end up saying yes to the camera pointing. The key moment was when I turned the camera and showed them a preview display of the image I had captured. The laughter and the comments between them were instantaneous.
It was a lady who was sitting on the floor that caught my attention during the visit to this market in Java. She had no shop or vending stale. She was just sitting next to the fishmonger’s door. She wasn’t begging for anything. She was selling some greens that she probably had picked from her humble backyard. I asked to take a picture and initially, she didn’t want to. Maybe out of shame. But then she accepted. When I showed her the image, she laughed, hiding her smile so I wouldn’t see the few teeth she had.
From this market, I bought some souvenirs. I would like to have reciprocated all the kindness those people showed me, but my luggage didn’t leave a lot of space to get out of control. But what I brought home was a full heart and a sense of even greater appreciation for the people in that part of the world.
And you? Do you visit local markets when traveling? What was the most interesting market you’ve visited until now? Tell your experience in the message box below. I’ll love to read them!!
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