i’m bored. you wanna grab breakfast in bali?
sometimes, i wish statements like this is a staple in our conversations but we’re obviously not at that level yet. and so we live within our means and drive to dandenong market instead, where the crowd and the atmosphere remind us of the reality that yep, this is definitely our hood!
to give you a bit of a background, dandenong market is probably one of the oldest, if not the oldest, market in victoria. it’s older than your great-great-grandmother but still very much alive and kicking at 152 years old. born out of the then budding town’s need for a place to sell and trade local farmers’ livestock and produce, its first trading day was on the 10th of october 1866. exactly 117 years before i was born.
dandy market is also melbourne’s second largest market at over 8,000 square meters. it’s huge. doing your shopping there is already an exercise in itself. especially when you have to carry bags of fruits and vegetables that seem to weigh a ton after a while. by the time you get to your car, your upper arm muscles have gained definition and there’s a baby 6-pack starting to form on your abs.
jeff goes there for the dumplings which, he reckons, is the best of the best. raven associates the market with doughnuts. i come along with them because it feeds my family without me having to cook so there you go… win-win-win!
in case you’re getting the wrong impression, no, i don’t feed raven just doughnuts and call it a meal. i usually buy her rice and barbecued chicken at the filipino food stall before she can have a doughnut as a treat. which doesn’t really help my case at all because you can still argue that grilled food is carcinogenic but that’s the only thing at the market that she eats. next to chips. and i don’t wanna give her chips for lunch because of the trans fat in vegetable oil so it’s the lesser of two evils, i guess. (me and my newly-bought bamboo steamer are still waiting for the day when she starts to eat and appreciate steamed vegetables because that would definitely save me a lot of hassle while fostering healthy eating habits in her too.)
for the record, they have really good filipino-style barbecue — sauce and all. $11 would get you a cup of rice, 2 bbq skewers of either pork and/or chicken, achara (green papaya relish) that leaves you hanging for more because you can never have enough, and a can of coke. the great thing about them too is that they use environmentally-friendly paper plates. and not the flimsy ones either. i don’t know why, but every time i buy from them and see the container it comes in with, i can’t help but be like, “good on ya!”
with dandenong market being a market and all, it goes without saying that there are heaps of traders selling fruits and vegetables at a cheaper price. but here’s a little tip: if you want an even better deal, do your shopping on tuesdays, right when they’re closing up around 3pm. that’s when they really mark down the prices because it won’t be until friday that the market opens again and they’d rather sell their produce at a discount than to dump them in the bin and declare it a loss.
and, also, as far as passion fruit is concerned, you want them looking like a shar pei. the wrinklier, the better. that piece of wisdom i learned from a stranger standing next to me while i was busy choosing the prettiest ones i could find.
guess that was a life lesson in itself: never judge a fruit by the look of its peel.
while i don’t exactly like weaving in and out of the thick crowd with heavy bags threatening to dislocate my arms off their sockets, i do enjoy looking at the endless display of fruits and vegetables — hues of green smiling next to red, yellow, purple and orange. all the colors of the rainbow! it’s beautiful!
there are my favorite fruits which make me happy simply at the sight of them — mandarins, pears, pink lady apples, etc.
and then there’s cantaloupes, which i had to have my picture taken with for reference purposes. because i love
the idea of having boobs as big as cantaloupes!
the face of that woman behind me says it all.
having said what i wanted to say, allow me to share some photos of my little family (literally) hanging out at good ol’ dandy market. we’re quite a bunch of posers, mind you. that’s what happens when you have a photographer for a husband. or a husband for a photographer. whatever.
point is, you kind of learn to work it for the camera. some days you nail it, most days i don’t.
but jeff… man, if posers had an idol, he would be it. people think that photographers are shy that’s why they’d rather be behind the lens rather than in front of it. as far as he’s concerned, that’s a total lie. this guy LOVES to project in front of the camera. he especially likes to give his trademark i’m-sexy-but-in-case-you-don’t-know-it-here’s-my-casual-but-sultry-look-to-say-what’s-up?
wow, the last time i used that many hyphens was in college.
*raven at 2 years old