Markets. Noise. Bargains. Colour. Photo-op moments galore.

Visiting the Blaak market for our weekly groceries has become a Saturday routine now. Back home, in Goa, marketing used to be quite the drudgery with me running behind mom when she bargained with super ease in-spite of not knowing Konkani, the local language, and expertly selected ripe-at-touch-tomatoes and patiently ploughed through little mountains of potatoes and onions.

But the worst experience for me used to be the fish market. The ‘nustekaar’ (fisher-women) would sit on little stools and reinforced every stereotype you would have had in mind about fish mongers. The floor of the fish market was eternally covered with slime and fish scales, and in my mind, was evocative of the dregs of any place on earth, the lowest of the lows.

So why then, do I see myself in Blaak market, camera in hand, gushing about “those fresh shrimp” or “that fleshy crab” or squealing in delight when I see lobsters thrashing around in a bucket? Maybe its the clash of myriad colors, or the smell of the fish-market from my childhood, and the noise and the jostling around that reminds me of days back home.

The streets maybe many times cleaner and the fish mongers, clad in aprons, but smells the colors and the noise remain the same.

Hmm…many be with two exceptions, the flowers and the cheese, or kaas as its called here.

The flowers here are beyond pretty. The colors almost hurt your eyes. Sadly, tulip harvests are just over, and we didn’t see many at the market.

Gorgeous, sunny, yellow and orange, smelly kaas. Unfortunately, we had already bought some sliced processed cheese earlier, so these would have to wait for another day.

Blaak Saturday Market
Hours: 9am-5pm
Blaak, Rotterdam

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