Market Volatility


Yesterday I walked to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market with M&K and the kids.

I’ve been to street markets in the States, lots of times before. I’ve been to this particular market in Berkeley before. But I was astounded by just about everything this time. My many months away and many market experiences in Asia could not be more different from a sensory perspective.

Take for example the two images below. The first is from the (several hundred years) old vegetable market in the city of Madurai. The second is from Berkeley. On the left, I distinctly remember the following features: chaos, shouting, animals milling about, dirt garbage and dung everywhere, a crazy stink, a cool sense of scale, an ad hoc approach to everything. On the right: sterile environment, neatly aligned vendors, lots of perfectly safe to eat samples of cut fruit, an incredible sense of calm and quiet. It all seemed so strange.