This Little Piggy Went To Market

April 22, 2011 § 19 Comments

In the past three decades, Singapore’s rapid pace of globalization and modernization has created new conveniences for the ordinary person—one of which is the supermarket. You can now shop for groceries in an air-conditioned environment, complete with ‘smart’ trolleys that can sense when you have arrived at the deli section and will send you promotional information and product offers via text messages directly to your cellphone. These trolleys are each also fitted with an LCD screen that will display meal suggestions and recipes for you to consider as you stroll through the pasta aisle. Such is the future of shopping!

In contrast are the ‘traditional’ outdoor markets, typically found within ‘suburban’ residential estates. Here, your senses are awakened by the vibrant colours of fresh fruits and vegetables, aroma of freshly baked buns and pastries, hollers of peddlers, and hustle and bustle of people. 

Since our busy weekday schedules don’t often afford us the opportunity to shop at an outdoor market (you need to arrive early for the best produce!), I was happy to have a Good Friday morning to browse the Bukit Panjang market.

The Bukit Panjang market (more so than any others I have visited in Singapore) reminds me of the wet markets in Thailand. The narrow pedestrian paths flanked on either side by rows of stalls—with fruits, dried goods, clothes, toys, and just about everything else hanging from makeshift roof structures—make me feel as if I have been transported to Bangkok.

Today, however, I was on a mission to buy a pineapple for guess who—Miss Maple. As I searched through the maze of stalls, I got sidetracked by a mound of towels. Hmm, a thought I remembered came to mind. To see how we have put the towel (and pineapple) to good use, stay tuned for the full story in a future post! 

As I inched my way ever so slowly into the depths of the market, my nose caught a whiff of one of my all-time favourite fruits—the majestic Jackfruit. The Jackfruit is one of the largest and heaviest fruits in the world, weighing in at a whopping 35 kg (77 lbs)!

The rising heat from the morning sun was tiring me a little and, by then, I was also feeling a tad parched. It’s a good thing I was nearing the end of the market where barrels of freshly-made, steaming hot soya beancurd and soya milk awaited me. 

I quite like the ambience of the Bukit Panjang market, as there is an authentic sense of community that seems to shine through. I will definitely be returning to explore more of this amazing place and hopefully discover more great finds.

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§ 19 Responses to This Little Piggy Went To Market

  • raisingdaisy says:

    What an interesting post! Great photos – I feel like I was there! I love outdoor markets, farmers markets, all that sort of thing. What a wonderful experience! (Not too crazy about those trolley things at the supermarket, though – talk about Big Brother!)

    • I agree, there’s a certain charm about local markets while, on the other hand, the ‘Big Brother’ surveillance in the high-tech supermarkets can make one a little paranoid!

  • TOto's mommy says:

    Hmmmmm how come I cannot regconise this Bukit Panjang Wet market!! I used to hang out around the area because my school is nearby at Teck Whye area; Bukit Panjang Govt high school. And most of my friends stayed in Bukit Panjang Area!!!

    I guess I know what you are trying to experiment with Pineapple. Good luck with ur Pineapple adventure with Maple!

    • This market is right by the Al-Iman mosque at the intersection of Bukit Panjang Rd and Fanjang Ring Rd. There’s also a community centre and neighbourhood police post around the area, if that helps to give you a sense of its location. I also noticed, while looking at the map, what seems to be a really nice park connector in the vicinity—we hope to give it a try with Maple one of these days!

  • Novroz says:

    I really really envy the cleanness of your country!!
    The markets here are terribly dirty 😦
    I wish one day, Indonesian people can stop throwing garbage everywhere.

    • Well, Singapore isn’t entirely spic and span! I think littering is a worldwide phenomenon. It happens here in Singapore as well as some of the rougher neighbourhoods in my Canadian hometown. If I see someone in the act of littering, I’ll often have a kind word with them. Littering is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves 😯 On this note, Happy Earth Day!

  • Kas says:

    What a neat post! I loved the pictures and felt like I could almost smell the delicious-looking Jackfruit and hear the hustle-and-bustle of the market.

    • Thank you for your kind comments! Maple requested for a break from blogging, so I scratched my head and thought of the idea to write about another activity I enjoy—sightseeing!

  • SO fun that you shared this post. You made us feel like we were right there with you at the market.

    The jackfruit sounds so interesting – I had never even heard of it until your post!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your Friday off – happy weekend to you and your family!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the virtual tour. I get the same feeling, too, when you take us on your walks with Gus through San Antonio (and, soon, when you guys hit the road for your trip—how exciting!). Hope you and the gang are having a fun-filled weekend 😀

  • btlau says:

    that sounds like a fun market! I gotta check it out!

    • Hi, thanks for dropping by! I’m sorry we missed your comment—for some weird reason it was filtered as spam 😐
      If you ever have the chance to visit Singapore, the markets are definitely worth your while 😀

  • furfilled says:

    It’s not hard to see why you’d prefer the outdoor market . . . The smart trolleys might give me the creeps.

    I love your forrays into the non-dog world of Singapore, by the way. My husband and I have ff miles tickets on Singapore Airlines that are soon to expire, so this is good inspiration for planning some globetrotting, jackfruit-eating adventures.

    • Oh, it’s great fun to play ‘tourist’ in your own backyard! Although I’ve been residing in Singapore for almost 6 years now, there are still places I have yet to explore on this tiny island. You and your husband should definitely make use of your ff miles and head on over to Southeast Asia. Maybe I can post more pictures to entice you further 😉

  • didiwright says:

    What wonderful photos, and such a colourful market place! Thanks for sharing and making me feel I was there (I wish)!
    LCD screens on shopping trolleys! Now that’s techno-progress! Love the concept!

    • Thank you, ‘colourful’ is just the right word to describe the market! I’m glad that we’re able to enjoy both the traditional neighbourhood markets with their chaotic vibrancy and the ultra high-tech hypermarts with their LCD-screened trolleys—sometimes it’s nice to change it up a bit 😀

  • Trish says:

    Hi there! Thanks for visiting D&W’s blog and sharing yours! What a great read and I especially like this one! I love your refreshing take on our neighbourhood “mama” shops & scene! =) I also love your photography and the funny Maple-superimposed graphics! I’ve added this site to my favourites and will be back to visit! Cheerios!

    • Hi Trish! The pleasure is ours—thanks for inviting us to visit D&W’s blog. LOL… what are the chances of two blogging pups meeting at the dog park, eh? See you gals in and around the West Coast, if not then the blogosphere 😉

  • […] I was so smitten with Happy Bark Days that I’ve been meaning to profile this blog for quite a while now.  I caught up with SJ some weeks back (thanks for your patience!) with some questions about how she got started with her blog, and her life in Singapore.  Our Q&A session is below.  For your reading pleasure, check out some of her recent posts, for example, the impressively cute birthday hat in The Birthday Girl, Miss Maple’s adventures with raw food in Make No Bones About It, or a dose of local color in This Little Piggy Went to Market. […]

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