Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mercado Vermelho/Red Market

Arriving at the remnants of the Cathedral after walking the old quarter was a good punctuation to the morning, a Kodak moment and our first exchange with a Portuguese speaking Macanese. He looked the part of the Euro-Asian, freely borrowing lovely bits from several cultures DNA; South Asian warm skin tones, fine features nearly an aquiline nose, a long drawn face, yet hair and eyes distinctly Cantonese. He recommended one of the parks mentioned in books as a Tai Chi practice and observation spot. We never made it there, just kept walking down hill towards the port and the temple. After our commune with the various gods, A-ma holds court to Buddhist, Confucianism and Daoist shrines while also being the prayer point or patron saint to fishermen, seafarers, gamblers and pawn shops. After lunch I smartly chose the wrong bus, ended up crosstown who knows where, slowly wended our way back home to crash before dinner.
After the aforementioned low profile New Years we took another bus-hike to the northeastern extreme of the city to check out Mercado Vermelho or the Red Market. The market itself is a four story brick building housing the major “wet market”, or wholesale produce, poultry, meat and fish purveyors. Additionally there was a small section of “ dry market”, think preserved, canned or jarred foods. Surrounding the building for maybe a 8 block radius was their variation of Orchard Street. Narrow alley streets had numerous stalls selling most anything, hardware, stockings, clothing, batteries, etc that you could need or wanted to haggle for. I, was overwhelmed by the volume so I didn’t shop but shot images. Michele found a baby outfit for a yet to be born future second niece. In between stalls we found a lovely old Yumcha, or drink tea boite; classic in styling and menu with tasty mostly pork or beef based dim sum for very little MOP or patacas, the money of Macau.

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