Beautiful, Interesting and Ooo Shiny! Images From Various Places

Posts tagged “market

Must Love Elephants

Location: Thailand
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 400 • f 5.6 • 1/80 sec

“But… all Americans LOVE elephants!” the merchant said, shoving a carved stone sculpture into my hand. He was sure that if I bought the souvenier to take home, it would be an instant hit. I’ve run across the same thing in India and Thailand now. What is it with Asians thinking Westerners love elephants?? Well, at least these guys didn’t expect us to be running around in bikinis.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve seen many generalizations and stereotypes on my travels, in all ethnic directions. Some of them are pretty funny, actually. Many have heard the old joke: “In heaven, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the bosses are Swiss, the cops are British, and the lovers are Italian. In hell, the cooks are British, the mechanics are French, the cops are Italian, the bosses are German, and the lovers are Swiss.” A graphic designer has even created maps of common stereotypes (Note: semi-NSFW due to language) and another blogger made a top 10 list.

When traveling, I am often confronted by the stereotypical American mindset that thinks I’m rich, ignorant, liberal and like to eat lots & lots & lots of food. As frustrating as that can be, I’m not the only one that gets it. My boyfriend is Tawianese by birth, but raised by Americans. Recently he was at a Chinese restaurant, and someone asked him to find them a seat. Also, a disgruntled cashier at a grocery store expected him to try to haggle the price, just like the Burmese guys that were in line in front of him. When he travels abroad, people don’t believe he’s American because he doesn’t “look like one,” whatever that means. At least we both get a good laugh out of it.

What stereotypes have you faced when traveling? What ones do you hold about other ethnicities/countries?

Adventures in Food… and Other Things

Location: Thailand
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 1600 • f 4.5 • 1/25 sec

Q: Where can you go to find fresh veggies, raw meat, freshly-picked flowers, or ready-made desserts all in one place?
A: Thailand’s open markets!

I got to see one while visiting some friends, and it was quite the shopping experience! Nearly a hundred booths were filled with various items for purchase. The lady in the picture was selling vegetables, and she was eager to bargain if you were willing to buy more. Down the row, another lady sold bouquets or single orchids (a popular flower in Thailand). They were very cheap in comparison to US prices, so my friend didn’t think twice about grabbing a bunch to decorate her table at home. Yet another vendor sold  ready-made food and desserts, so I opted for a banana treat wrapped in leaves. Yum! Others sold jewelry and school supplies. So random. 🙂

While we walked around, I happened to look into a room off to the side and saw several people chopping meat. The room was filled with all varieties of meat products hanging on the walls or lying on the tables. They did not have refrigeration for anything here, as they expected to sell it all that day. I opted instead to sample some of the native fruits off another cart. One was pink and spikey. Hmm… don’t let the appearance fool you, it was very good! My nose told me that someone was also selling durian, and Asian fruit that smells like rotting garbage, but tastes very sweet. To keep away flies, the merchants rigged up an ingenious contraption: plastic streamers attached to slowly rotating fans, which swatted the flies away every time they came near. Now why didn’t I think of that!?

If you went to an Asian open market, what type of things would you look for? Be adventurous!