Friday, May 6, 2011

Market Dilemmas

For months we are complaining about the rising vegetable and fruit prices in the supermarket. Unfortunately, there is no market in Holon, the closest being the Carmel in Tel Aviv. As a new emigrant, this long and crowded noisy-smelly strip of oriental mess appealed to me, but I haven't been there for many, many years.

A friend who buys there often and knows the worthy stands, offered me a guided shopping tour. Armed with a short shopping list and 2 empty bags for the catch, I met him there early in the morning, to avoid the Friday crowds.

(1) Turns out that early was not early enough to find a parking spot along the sidewalk, but too early for fresh merchandise, that just started to be unpacked.

(2) The prices are better than the supermarket, but the difference is 'eaten up' by the parking fee, especially if the quantities you buy are for less than a regiment of hungry soldiers.

(3) On one hand the place is an anti-hygienic forest of tin huts, on the other hand the mess of underwear, carrots, baked goods, fish and beads living in charming proximity makes is authentic. Your shopping experience depends on they way you decide to perceive it.

(4) You can shop efficiently, visiting your regular stands owned by the merchants you befriended during the years, or wander aimlessly and experience sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Or combine the two. Whatever you chose to do, my friendly advice is stop checking the prices of items you bought, for sure the nectarines are being sold for 2 shekkels less per kilo 3 stands away. Well, actually the ones you bought seem slightly larger now...

And my bonus for today's market visit was watching the surprise flyover rehearsal for Independence Day.

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