I would best describe a great market as: colorful, busy, with an abundance of people, smells, colors and shapes everywhere. I get a feeling of joy from being surrounded by (what some may call) the chaos. The variety of fruits and vegetables that you may find in one country are completely different from another. The types of street foods that they sell are unique to each place and I, personally, find that beautiful.
I don’t think I’m the only one that passionately enjoys the distinct feeling I have when visiting a market when I compare it to visiting a mall. I like malls, I enjoy them and truly like meandering and getting lost in them. The markets, however, are each unique to the country you’re in.
When I travel to a new country, the first thing on my mind is: “What days of the week is the food market open?” because I can’t wait to see it!
When have you ever seen cats roaming around a market? Taking a nap next to the bananas? Looking like they’re posing next to the potatoes? It just doesn’t happen in a regular supermarket (which is perfectly fine!). I do, however, truly and dearly love the different experience that an authentic market provides. It is like nothing else in the world. You will never find the same market twice.
What do these markets offer that a regular one doesn’t? you may ask. And my response is very simple: a unique experience. You are going because you want to see how locals live. You are going to a place that most foreigners won’t go to, because they don’t advertise food markets on Trip Advisor (most of the time).
I am the type of person that likes to dive into a new culture, learn and see how the locals live. I want to experience what they do day-to-day and to learn from them. I’m not saying to trust every local you meet; we all have to be careful and take care of ourselves when being in a foreign country. I like to research the prices of things before hand so I know what to expect when buying food or anything else.
I have been to markets in India, México, Chile, Germany, Australia, Prague, London and Madrid; and I have never felt or been unsafe. Without speaking the language, I managed and enjoyed myself a lot! I truly recommend you give it a try; it may seem intimidating or ‘dangerous’ but it’s not. If anything, the locals will stare at you because you look different – and that’s all. Not bad for a unique experience!