The Shuk

Now, somehow I thought I visited this market before on my previous two trips to Israel, but I was mistaken as was confusing this with the more general sort of market held in the old city. This was different as this market is just food.

It was sunday midday and I was going to head to church about 5pm, the market is hugely hectic and full of shoppers looking for bargains, and young men pushing around trolleys of fruit and vegetables on to the shelves. To me this is the most fun part of weekly shopping.

Things here are just not what you expect. One man had what appeared to have large hand operated meat mincers, I am not sure if this was for mashing up baby food or for butchers for producing meat products. Behind him were various odd looking mostly rusty metal parts, maybe he was repairing and recondition these contraptions. Another sight was some workmen using an angle grinder to cut through some kind of redundant plumbing fitting on the wall, but without much regard for the safety of nearby shoppers the sparks off the tools where flying all over path and all over some meat put out in the stand close by. Some cheeky pigeons swoop down and start scoffing some of the tubs of corn, nuts, cereal and dried fruit sold for people to buy and and weigh themselves before the owner of the shop looks up from his newspaper and they are suddenly gone.

I want to get myself a falafel, but this particular counter doesn’t have them, instead I got some kind of shwarma a sandwich with omelette, fish and some kind of spicey sauce, and a malt drink, the 50 something man tells me to sit down on a small round table as he will bring it over, as he turns around his cigarette ash blows into my face, yuk. The food is really good though. He then flings the cigarette but carelessly into the middle of the market road where it just misses a box full of mostly paper rubbish.

I got a kilo of plums, some pita breads, and best bargain of all a large half of a water melon, this item was just one Shekel (16 pence) Its funny in this country its generally cheaper to buy fruit and vegetables than to get a microwave meal. I really like the fact that prepackaged food is not really that easy to get hold of so everyone is encouraged to eat decent stuff here.

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