To Market

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
When visiting open markets, I tend to leave a little light-headed.

I obviously need a better strategy. Not being a lover of fish, seafood, or anything bearing the smell of either (or raw meat, for that matter), I take big gulps in air that is relatively fresh, and then try to walk swiftly by those stalls which offend my senses. In more crowded markets, it takes a good long while to get by the crowds in order to exhale and begin the intake again. Sometimes a headache even begins to creep in, and my cheeks become a little more flushed than usual in the muggy heat.

But I love markets. I can’t NOT visit them.

I love the array of fresh produce, and here in Cambodia, there are more unrecognizable items than familiar. I love the sounds: the bartering, the calling out to check stock behind the tables, all in a swirl of foreign tones. And the people are most intriguing of all, their resilience to sit in tiny stalls for hours on end, the children who cling to their parents as they dart around to fill bags.

I love the sounds: the bartering, the calling out to check stock behind the tables, all in a swirl of foreign tones.

Market Girl

It a is rush to try to cover as much of the maze of stalls as my body will allow, all the while being cognizant of my impending headache and sensitive gag reflex. And for a few minutes in the Kandal Market in Phnom Penh on a Saturday, a large market visited almost entirely by locals, Pete and I frantically shot some video so that you could get a sense of it. It has many of the sights and sounds – all that’s missing is some “scratch and sniff” video technology. (But perhaps that is a good thing…for me, anyways.)

If you are having problems viewing this video, please click here.

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  • November 11 2013

    I love markets and am lucky that the smells don’t bother me.
    Love that photo of the little girl!

  • November 12 2013

    Oh I love your video!! Fresh produce is such a tease for me, we hardly get any fruit and veg here and the ones that are here are in nasty shape πŸ™
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Roatan Month 15 Roundup

    • November 14 2013

      Thanks Rika! There is so much interesting produce here! Pete has been quite busy being my official “taste tester”. πŸ™‚

  • November 12 2013

    lol – I love the little fish “gulping” at 0:22. πŸ˜‰

    • November 14 2013

      Ha! Me too. I wish he had been a little more active, I think he was camera shy. πŸ™‚

  • November 12 2013

    So cute πŸ™‚
    Muza-chan recently posted..Plum and Three Friends of Winter

  • November 12 2013

    Being a vegetarian, I face a similar problem when visiting open markets! I too cannot stand the smell of fish or meat. That capture of the little one is so cute!!
    Arti recently posted..A Melbourne Halloween And An Indian Diwali!

    • November 14 2013

      I can’t even imagine seeing it as a vegetarian!

  • November 12 2013

    I too am a market addict, and a hater of fish smells πŸ™‚ I always bring along a scarf!
    Alex recently posted..Tempting Fate on the Nazca Lines

    • November 14 2013

      I always have the best intentions to bring a scarf (which can double as a sweat rag for me here!) but forget…every time!

  • November 13 2013

    Ooh, I can’t wait to see all the odd and unrecognizable things that await in Thailand’d markets!
    Jennifer recently posted..Bond Girl Guide to London #BondGirlinLondon

  • Oh wow, the fish moved! Ha, lovely video.

    Happy travels πŸ™‚
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren recently posted..The Fulton Lane Inn: A great place to stay in Charleston!

    • November 14 2013

      They were all pretty active just before the shot. Wish I had gotten them all squirming. πŸ™‚

  • November 13 2013

    Lovely market vibe.
    Rachel M recently posted..Hybrid Solar Eclipse – Views from …

  • November 14 2013

    you must have had a peg on your nose for the video πŸ™‚ and you did a great job of capturing the variety. I loved the Phnom Penh markets, particularly (as you so perfectly captured) the smiles of the lovely people. And they are the most fun people I have ever bartered with!
    Victoria recently posted..A Tour Through Tiong Bahru

    • November 14 2013

      There was a lot of holding my breath, for sure! It was a fun visit though.

  • November 14 2013

    I also love markets, and even more those in SEA. The sounds, smells, there is just something about them that makes them my favorite. Maybe it’s all of these factors?

    • November 14 2013

      Probably! Especially if you can stand the smells!

  • November 14 2013

    The markets in SE Asia are incredible for so many reasons! I love this! And, cannot wait to hit up some markets with you in Chiang Mai!!! πŸ™‚

  • November 14 2013

    I remember this market vividly — it was the first time I saw someone break a chicken’s neck. She had a pile of about at hundred of ’em. πŸ™

    Love the intro to the video!
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..VIDEO: Flying a fighter plane, getting my ass spanked, & other #ManlyMoments

  • November 18 2013

    My wife has the same problem. She can’t stand the smells at fresh food markets in Asia. I love visiting them though so she usually gets dragged along…usually while holding her breath πŸ˜‰

  • November 19 2013

    Great video! I always have difficulty getting the right colors in any visuals from markets, which I love, too. πŸ™‚

  • November 23 2013

    Beautiful video! It’s great to be able to get a sense of what it’s like to walk through the market, to take in all of the offerings, the vibrant colours and of course, and to feel as though you can almost smell their scents!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Top 10 Volcanoes for Your World Travel Bucket List

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