Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Perfect Day in...

When you live on a subtropical island like Okinawa, sometimes you just crave different.

Chilly brisk air. Urban cafes. Bookstores. Street entertainment. Cheese.

All of them, I'll never take for granted again.

That's why we jumped at the chance to visit Seattle when an opportunity arose. Arriving a day prior to Sean, I spent the time happily browsing through one of the famous landmarks, Pike Street Market.

In my jet-lagged euphoric state, I discovered the market is all about...

Upon arrival, I met a friend for lunch at Matt's in the Market. For me, it was 4:00 in the morning so it felt like one of those late night munchie attacks after a night out on the town- the kind where you chow down on a short stack and bacon. Only this day, it was lovely brisket sandwich with lots of horseradish.

My next stop was a little donut shop that my friend Kelly recommend to me.
It was here that I had a cultural epiphany. Living in another country with a foreign language, there's heaps that gets lost in translation. You can't understand conversations happening next to you on the bus. What's more, you don't pick up on nuances, jokes, or sarcasm in your basic interactions with locals.

Hence, I was reminded of all that in Seattle. Man, those Pike's Market vendors have ATTITUDE!

So, I mentioned I was seeking a particular donut shop. Well, the market has so many bakeries and sweet shops, I couldn't be sure which was the ONE. I spied the donuts and approached the men behind the counter.

"So, are these the famous Pike's Market donuts that everyone raves about?" I asked. Okay, awkward attempt, but it was sincere.

The men looked at me with bored expressions. "Yeah lady, these are the most famous donuts in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD."

Well then. Half a dozen.

With donuts in hand and powdered sugar all over the my face and camera case, I browsed and enjoyed some of this...
I so wished I could buy a bouquet. Tulips in Okinawa? Hah!

I also marveled at the abundance of the fresh fruits and vegetables. I had never in my life seen baby avocado or cauliflower. And you know what? There was not a goya (bitter melon) anywhere in sight.

So much more than sarcasm, flowers, and perfect vegetables, the market is also a place of ...
I spied this little boy carefully casing the joint before stealthily reaching for a tomato. Just a second within grasp, his mother scolded him and pushed the stroller away.

Do you enjoy Farmer's Markets? What do you buy at yours?

12 comments:

K and S said...

stuff to bring back to Japan, like local honey or jams :)

Chris and Amy said...

I love Farmer's Markets! I usually just get local produce and sometimes fresh cheeses. I'm heading to CA in June and already looked up the closest Sweet Tomatoes to my Grandma's (a big salad bar restaurant) because I just crave veggies here.

We are travel lovers in Okinawa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary and Sean said...

Chris and Amy,
I love that Sweet Tomatoes place too. Where I'm from, they call it Soup Plantation, but same thing!

If you need some ideas for local Okinawan markets, there's a few I go to.

shopgirl said...

It really is all about the food, isn't it?!

Gotta love these food pictures Mary! Brilliant!

I am going to gorge once I'm in Vancouver. I can't wait!

Mary and Sean said...

Shopgirl,
When you go home to visit, do you take a running list of things you need to eat and buy?

That's how I do it, so I can be sure not to miss anything.

bingata744 said...

Love your observations and then the pictures. I look at your pics from Pike Place Market and scroll down to your food pics from Kyoto. Great stuff!! It's all good. I know that during the 3 weeks we stay in Japan, that by the time we are home, we are craving a "big" salad. But, again -- it's all good ------ Each place is great on its on. Wish we could all travel the world as it's so much about the different foods.

Eve said...

Mary - Please recommend some markets for me to try on Okinawa! That's on my list of adventuring for the weekend :o). Your Seattle trip looks incredibly beautiful, and delicious!

Fly Girl said...

I live for farmers markets! I'm counting down the days when our local market opens at the end of the month. Your pix are fab, makes me want to pick some tomatos right now. I always buy flowers, organic trail mix with dried Michigan cherries and whatever fruit and vegetables catch my eye, typically rainbow kale.

Mary and Sean said...

Fly girl,

Rainbow kale? Goodness, I'll have to seek that out. Isn't it great how there are all kinds of new vegetables that you may have never known existed?

Mary and Sean said...

Eve,
There are two local markets that I frequent.

One of them is here
http://www.okinawahai.com/my_weblog/2008/06/this-is-a-fresh.html

The other is near the Toys R Us in Okinawa City.

I'd be happy to show you them some day!

Travelin'Fool said...

love the descpriptions!! seattle is on my list of places to go..

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