Friday, August 12, 2005
Chinatown Basement Wet Market
Today, I am off from work and so had the time to take a stroll through the basement wet market of Chinatown, at Smith St. It is very different from the days when the stalls were lined on Smith St, Trengganu St, Temple St and Sago Lane. They was hardly any "shows" like the killing of snakes and turtles to be sold as food.
During weekends, this market is still thronged with people, not from Chinatown alone, but from elsewhere, probably formerly Chinatown residents. This is probably one of the three or four wet markets where tourists jostle with the locals, one buying for the week's meal, the other capturing the scenes of the diminishing wet markets in Singapore.
Here, live fishes such as the Toman (Snakehead, said to be good for after surgeries because it could lessen the pain), and others like bullfrogs, terrapins, and mud crabs are for sale. There are wonderful things like yong-tau-fu which you could buy back to make soup, fry and cook any style. Yes, there are trays and trays of different greens, fruits, eggs - fresh, salted or even century eggs (pi-tan), pork - chilled and rosted, freshly slaughtered chicken (gone are the days when one could pick up a live chicken and have it killed and defeathered rightaway) and yes, ducks - freshly slaughtered or roasted.
Visiting the wet market is an experience. Wet markets in China are also the same, except that the varieties are more.