70. Asian Markets

Asian Markets: Cambodia has tons of these. Food stalls, piles of beautiful fresh produce and the shiniest knick-knacks always ring the outside of the market, between dark, anonymous entryways scattered here and there. Inside, it’s a disorienting labyrinth of sharp sounds, pungent smells and bright colors (despite the lack of natural light) – nothing is dull in an Asian market. There are certainly no price tags, not much English, but there is lots of yelling and playful banter and women napping on soft piles of new t-shirts during the hottest part of the day; don’t ask them to wake up, because why in God’s name are you shopping during the hottest part of the day? Foreigner. To our mega-mall eyes, these markets look like attractive nonsense when in fact, there’s method and order that’s obvious to everyone local. We’re finally starting to get it. Motorcycle parts next to fine silk textiles next to a makeshift beauty parlour next to a guy chopping blocks of ice with a machete next to stalls selling pirated DVDs of movies that haven’t even finished filming yet. How the hell do they do that? Doesn’t matter, just go with it, get your hair cut while sitting on a milk crate, buy a handful of flowers you’ll never pronounce the name of and talk down the price of a new antique-OH MY GOD THAT GUY JUST KILLED A CHICKEN WITH HIS HANDS, WE GOTTA TURN AROUND AND, hey they’re selling silver pretty cheap down this aisle, let’s go check that out. Everyone likes a little something silver. Two for ten? Two for seven.

Seven-fifty.

Deal.

 

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