Sunday morning was spent grocery shopping. Interestingly, I had the opportunity to go through 3 different types of markets. The first one was an organic farmer’s weekend market. Second one was a typical grocery and the third, an asian one. The last two in Chatswood, an Asian centric Sydney suburb. The first one was interesting enough. We got there kinda late though, at 12. Yea, that’s still morning for me.

So anyway, some of the shops had closed and we wanted some apples which were all gone. We did get some free range eggs though. There was a wide variety of stuff available, from a good selection of vegetables to some meat vendors. One guy had some pretty nice smoked fish, another had a good selection of mushrooms. Then there were a couple of palm readers and an organic health advisor (whatever that means). There was a definite hippie/environmentalist vibe there. A car had stickers taking the mickey out of John Howard, some lady was all decked out in hippie gear and I heard the words green and environment pretty often. One stall sold everything made outta hemp. Smells were lovely as well. One dude was grilling up sausages and onions, there was a turkish bread stall and a Jap okonomiyaki stall (huh?). All that to some guy playing on his guitar and a multitude of different breeds barking at each other.

Some stalls were just weird though. As in not mystic hippie weird but just out of place weird. Like the fake Von Dutch windbreaker stall or the cheapo made in China sunnies or the awnings guy, possibly promoting to his neighbours more than anything else.

The contrast with the hypermarkets was bleedingly obvious though. Seemingly sanitised environs with convenience as the key word. There were organic products but the retailers were far removed from the customers. The concern was to make as much money as possible, regardless of anything else. I don’t find anything wrong with that in and of itself though but you do appreciate the organic farmers who grow their own produce. They do it because its good and afterall, without small growers, there wouldn’t be any individuality and we’d all get perfect shrink wrapped apples all the time.

So whilst the organic markets had its little tinge of opportunism and mass market retail, you have to appreciate how they at least care about what they’re selling and the people they’re selling it to.

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