MY MOTHER-IN-LAW constantly exalts the variety and freshness of seafood and vegetables in wet markets. She always tells me not to do my weekly grocery shopping at Sheng Siong. Recently, I decided to visit the wet market in Bedok North Street 1 she frequents.
I found a fish stall that indeed stocked many varieties of seafood and had freshness to boast about. The vendor was serving three customers who were there before me, so I waited patiently for him to attend to me. In the meantime, more customers came. When the first three customers were gone, the vendor attended to the customers who had come after me. I signalled to him a couple of times that I was next, but each time he turned round to tell me to wait.
Perhaps those were his regular customers. Perhaps my voice was not loud or forceful enough. Whatever the reasons, after 20 minutes of unnecessary waiting, I decided to walk away and vowed never to patronise his stall again.
This is just one reason why I do not shop in wet markets. Another is that it is difficult to buy small portions of food. It is almost impossible to buy 20 cents’ worth of chilli padi or 200g of prawns in a wet market.
I do not lament the demise of wet markets in Singapore. I will continue to do my marketing in supermarkets. Being able to shop in cool comfort, getting everything under one roof, and not being glared at when I say I want only two tomatoes, more than compensates for slightly higher prices and slightly less ‘freshness’ of the seafood.
Betty Ho (Ms)
Source : Straits Times – 31 Oct 2009