I always enjoy markets. Wherever I go, markets would be a mandatory component of my iternary.
Be it London, melbourne, Solo, Jogjakarta, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Ho chi Minh, Tawau, Bangkok ……visit to the market is a must.
Not that I do not enjoy museums. Unlike museums which are about the past, markets are about now. I get to see and feel and touch things realtime. It is a place where real people go to. You get connected, you get the vibes , you get the smell,. It is a living thing.
I was at the Sungei Way Wet Market today. Although it is not the most hygeinic of market, I see hope whenever I go to markets such as the sungei Way. It is refreshing to see that traders of different colors and breed fight it out to earn their living without flying their racial flags or brandishing the flags of their political parties.
There was once a demonstration by the traders of one wet market of one town in Malaysia. What i saw was an exact mirror of the Sungei Way market. There was Seng the fish monger, muthu the mutton man, ali the chicken vendor, mariamah the curry specialist, molly the fruit vendors and the rest of the market operators. They were united in their struggle to survive, to fight for their rights to earn a decent living without the race cards being thrown around.
How true it is for the rest of malaysians on the high streets. If things are fair and just, if minorities are not bulldozed by the might of the majority, if civility means ensuring a place in the sun for everyone, if equality of opportunities are in abundance, and the racist and chauvinists are kept in check, this is a wonderful place to be.
It is customary for me to end my visit with a cuppa and some light breakfast. As I was about to find a spot, I was ushered to an open house organised by the local division of Parti Keadilan. Being a follower of that connoisseuer of free food, I did not decline.
I was introduced to Heng the division head, and the party volunteers and activists, siva with the loud hailer singing Selamat Hari Raya, Ahmad handing out the flyers, siew helping with the dishes jannette ushering the visitors.
If this is the kalaiedescope of the real malaysia then I am feeling fairly secure.