MY PARENTS are hawkers in a wet market and I have seen how the markets have been transformed.
One good example is Tiong Bahru Market. Before the refurbishment, it was small and unpleasant. Now, it is clean, has modern shopping facilities and a wide variety of items.
Wet markets are also places where the elderly gather to share the latest news on their families. I remember vividly how old grannies would come up to my father and ask him to keep a lookout for their friends so they could sit down for a cup of tea in the cooked food section.
With flexible prices, wet markets are also ideal places for foreign workers to patronise.
An increasing number of young people can be observed shopping at the wet market as well. It is not only the increased cleanliness that draws people to shop there, but also the closeness and friendliness of the stallholders.
So if you have not been to a wet market, head down to Tiong Bahru Market this weekend. It is an ideal model for other wet markets to follow, and I hope it can change the misconceptions some Singaporeans have of wet markets.
Lee Yean Yang
Source : Straits Times – 31 Oct 2009