I’ve walked through quite a few markets in my time yet I am always drawn to wandering around a local pasar (market) in Bali. It’s the sights, sounds & smiles that I love the most. The smells, not so much.
I’ll admit that my first real taste of a local market was in the first day of my first ever solo trip to Bali & I walked in feeling quite overwhelmed. I was dealing with my own nerves of being solo but also I was acutely aware that I was a little different looking seeing as I’m a tall, not skinny (not fat either alright!) kinda typical looking Aussie.
The more I walked around the more I noticed I was catching people’s eyes and could share a smile here & there. My most memorable moment was a beautiful older ibu who didn’t speak a word of English (And I didn’t speak a word of Indo) demonstrated her technique for making small offering baskets out of banana leaf. It was magic.
I had a little chat to a man who approached me on the street. Pretty standard chatter about where I was from, what is your name etc but it was lovely as I was solo to have a chance meeting & a conversation.
Next a young man come over to me with his small son in his arms. He wanted me to talk to his boy – I was willing but his boy was shy so we just chatted. Turns out he had been away working on a cruise ship & he wanted his son to practise his English as he felt this would be a good skill for the boy to master.
I enjoyed walking through the Aladdin’s cave of fruit, vegetables, offerings, fish, chicken, pots, pans & beautiful penjor decorations. It was exotic & exciting & so interesting that I have tried to make it my mission to visit the local pasar in each area I stay in.