Kuta pasar, after hours, Badung, Bali

Late morning marketing at Kuta market, Bali.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

If you live in Southeast-Asia, a piece of information you neeed is the opening or business hours of the morning wet markets. Some beginning as early as 05:30 hrs in the morning, where by late morning at about 10:00 hrs, business is concluded, the stalls washed and goods neatly stashed for the next day’s trading.

In search of pulot hitam at Kuta market, near one of the almost invisible entrances.

Having had some requests for specific goods only to be found in Indonesia and likewise, Bali, I conveyed my brief shopping list to a local taxi driver, who was happy to be our guide to the island. He quickly settled where to go and so we were off towards one of his favourite markets – Kuta pasar – though I had gathered from what he told, I would need to improvise with my spattering of the Malay language since Balinesian and Indonesian languages differ, in order to do my shopping as no one in this market would speak English.

Cleaning up for the day at Kuta pasar.

True to marketing times, when we arrived in the late morning at Kuta pasar, the floors were being washed, and the white tiled counters cleaned. It took a brief moment to orientate ourselves, across language barriers, I managed to locate the stall that sold most items I had wanted to purchase, including pulot hitam, that is black glutinous rice that they call nasi hitam, and gula Bali, a variant of palm sugar produced right on the island.

This narrow corridor leads to houses behind the market. On the left and out of sight, food stalls that cater to the local area.

The ground floor to this market is compact, with stalls selling wet goods situated in the center of the square and shops selling dried goods and vegetables, lining the outer rim of the square.

Through one of the back lanes, a narrow path leads to the village houses where two or three stalls selling food can be found. We were invited to try their variety of food from nasi campur (rice with mixed food) that included ikan goreng (fried fish) to mee ayam (chicken noodles).

Kuta pasar, Badung. The sign to look for.

Compared to the enormous wet market at Denpasar well equipped with supply chain outlets running as arteries towards the main centre of activities, I think I’m most grateful to the taxi driver for introducing us to this little market square, as another peek into the lives of the locals of this island.

A walk through Pasar Badung, Denpasar, Bali

Along the side streets towards Pasar Badung in Denpasar, off Jl. Gajah Mada, you’ll find a small curry shop passionately preparing the foundational ingredients to many local dishes.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

The daily trading activities in Southeast-Asia (SE-Asia) are still focused around the centrally located wet markets. Located as they often are at traditional crossroads of land and waterways, they are the natural center of the community with space for religious ceremonies as well as today, offering convenient parking lots for cars and mopeds. Around these markets are also the arteries of the supply chain of all kinds of supplies that will go into the products offered at the market.

Pasar Badung in Denpasar, Bali’s capital, is one of the largest wet markets on the island with four storeys of goods that range from ready cooked food sold just outside the building, to fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, preserved foods, spices, cakes, buns, biscuits, up to and including almost all items for the kitchen and household should you need them.

Clothing for men, women and children can be found on the upper floors of the market. Perhaps in close comparison in terms of array of and combination of goods sold would be that found in the heart of Chinatown or Little India in modern Singapore, though true wet markets now tend to have a space of their own these days.
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Circle Market, east Singapore 2016

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Circle Market, east Singapore 2016.

At the Circle Market located in the east of Singapore, 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I love marketing. From Barcelona, Spain to Bali, Indonesia and in in this post, the east of Singapore, I think having time to market is a privilege. Often times, the market place is combined with places for eating, where one can sample the people’s street foods. Located in the eastern part of Singapore in Tampines neighbourhood is the Circle Market (Tampines Round Market and Food Centre). This place comes alive from the break of dawn and winds down just at about noon each day, with its most festive days being the weekends. On weekends, marketers are greeted by a flea market carrying an array of eclectic goods in makeshift stalls that frill the outmost circle of the market place. The combined amenities of eateries, market stalls and flea market activities resonate as a heartbeat of the neighbourhood. If cooking at home, one is most likely to be able to bag most ingredients to grandmother’s dishes here.

The wet markets in Singapore are attractive socio-economic spaces for the community. On a recent visit (2 Dec. 2016) to Singapore by Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi toured Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre the morning, hosted by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan [1]. Continue reading “Circle Market, east Singapore 2016”

Marketplaces: converging inspirations

Saluhallen Västerås

Saluhallen Slakteriet, Västerås, Sweden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

Whilst the field of transdisciplinary research contemplates the effectiveness of the use of metaphors as a means to transcend boundaries between different fields of academic research, walk the streets of Västerås on a sightsee tour and you’ll find anything but the use of metaphors in street names or buildings, the sign designating the name of the road being metaphor enough. There is one skyscraper in the entire city, and that is aptly called, ‘The Skyscraper’. This weekend, I had the opportunity to go a little farther out of the city centre to the former abattoir, to a farmer’s market called ‘The Market Slaughterhouse’. You’ll find this market right next to the city’s landmark energy plant in the midst of a romantic industrial setting. Most street and building names are so straightly connected to the city’s power and energy industrial roots that one might come to think that the effort of keeping things in two dimensional vectors was considered effort enough in deployment of metaphor in itself.

Having observed two vector namings in three dimensional space, entering Saluhallen Slakteriet came as a surprise visual Continue reading “Marketplaces: converging inspirations”

Finding your way in Barcelona

At La Boqueria in Barcelona.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

Even if briefly visiting a new country, one of my most absolute favourite things to do is to go shopping for groceries at the local wet market, from fresh baked breads to cheese, eggs and various types of fruit both fresh and preserved. And while in Europe, the concept of ‘wet markets’ would differ from those in Asia, the spirit of trading at the break of dawn and the buzz of activities at a local focal meeting point would still be the fundamental connecting points in these entities.
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Muzzi’s Nero Nero chocolate ice-cream

This exquisite creation makes divine just about any chocolate fix need! Nero Nero or Double Black 99% cocoa chocolate bar from Pasticceria Muzzi with origins from Foligno in Perugia, the Umbrian region of Italy.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2012

There’s no excuse for chocolate addiction. And I’d be fibbing if I said it was because of the summer scorch in Sweden that I’m craving chocolate ice-cream since I still crave chocolate ice-cream even in the cold Nordic winters.

The more bitter than sweet of a high content cocoa chocolate bar varies from brand to brand, most a variation in taste akin to the native Indonesian black nut known as buah keluak (pangium educe). This particular chocolate bar from the well established Pasticceria Muzzi in Italy is less bitter than some other more than 90% cocoa organically produced chocolate bars, perfect for those who prefer a softer / milder taste to high content cocoa bars.

Muzzi confectionary has a long history in Italy that began in the small town of Foligno in 1795 by Mastro Tommaso di Filippo Muzzi. With plenty of fantasy and passion for the product still reflected in the Muzzi tradition of today, Tommaso di Filippo Muzzi began by producing small confetti hearts infused with star anise, a delicacy that had been a celebrated favourite of the town and perhaps even the region since the fifteenth century. Foligno is situated in central Italy in the province of Perugia, in the region of Umbria that borders the beautiful Tuscan region to its west. The town has an important railway station, Stazione di Foligno that opened in January of 1866, as part of the line between Rome and Ancona. This railway line helped set the Muzzi family’s distribution possibilities for products early on, where today, their outlet in Rome stands testament of their history in the trade.

In accordance to family tradition, generations of fathers and sons have produced candy confections of all sorts, the first born son of the family continue to this day, to be named Tommaso or Filippo.

Packaged and wrapped beautifully in a textured black envelope – a seductive invite to touch and open in itself – you’ll find the texture of this central Italian made chocolate bar in contrast to its envelope. Soft and smooth, this bar of decadence threatens to melt between the fingertips in the process of unwrapping, the beginnings of the making of this home made chocolate ice-cream.
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At the west end of the Lesser Sunda Islands

The trade winds blow cool in the mornings in the tropics of Sanur, Bali, where the full flavoured smaller apple banana variety is abundant and pleasantly enough included in abundance in the breakfast buffet.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

It took five security checks through the various airports from Scandinavia to Indonesia and though it has been about ten years since the Kuta bombing in Bali, security on the tourist island remains tight, the islanders looking apologetic for yet another security check even at the roadside. Considering the peaceful island’s serene philosophy and religion that is 80% Hindu with visible Buddhist influence, and that the small island’s main livelihood is tourism, one feels a tinge of sombre even as tropical sun rays streak across azure skies in this beautiful and untainted Southeast-Asian island paradise.
Continue reading “At the west end of the Lesser Sunda Islands”