Myanmar Snapshots 2: Rural Markets
I love examining local markets when visiting a new place. Among the most exciting ones I have visited were those in a very remote town in Papua New Guinea (see Daru Island – Market Scene) and, of course, those in Myanmar. I have recently written about the reason behind my fondness for visiting rural markets and how it’s similar to my morning addiction to freshly brewed coffee (see Coffee and a Rural Market Scene). Of course, I have visited a number of rural markets in Myanmar and I have noticed these three things that are most common among them.
The good old beam balance is an instrument I thought was long gone until I found out that it is still widely used in perhaps all rural markets of Myanmar. By my estimate, it will probably take some time before the digital scale would be able to convince rural folks of its credibility.
Chili pepper of all sizes, shapes and colors would most probably be present in any rural market of Myanmar, giving the visitor a hint of the food flavor he/she will encounter in homes and restaurants. While processed or ground chili are also available especially in cities and urban centers, fresh or dried chili appears to be the preferred option among rural folks.
It’s not unusual for a foreigner to encounter ‘culinary curiosities’ in Myanmar’s rural markets. In Kawhmu township just outside of Yangon, this lady displays dressed field rats among the items she’s selling.