Visiting a local market is a must not just to get the best out of your budget but more importantly it is an opportunity to understand how local people live, and what they eat and drink. I’ve had this great opportunity to visit a local market in Nasr city, an area unknown to tourist during a stay at a friend’s place in Cairo.
We went to the market to get some roasted chicken and some bread for lunch. It was pretty late, about 11am nevertheless the market was buzzing with people and their bargaining activities. The market is divided into 2 sections, a small building which houses fishmongers and livestock sellers as well as freshly cooked food. Another section belongs on the street. This is where fruit and vegetable sellers are located. Unlike markets I’ve been to in Europe and Asia, this market is not properly maintained, nonetheless it is a direct representation of how general standards are throughout the country.
The roadside of the market is filled with fruit and vegetable sellers. Fresh fruits and vegetables are sourced throughout the country. They’re also organic making it a must to buy. My favourite veg from Egypt is actually the tomato. like any other market, haggling is done in true Arabic style – stern yet friendly. The market is also a place to meet and socialise. Everyone seems to know everyone else. You can also see some sellers smoking shisha whilst negotiating prices.
What interest me most is the fact that the market sells everything fresh, especially chickens and rabbits. These animals are slaughtered after payment is made. It’s not really a pretty sight.
I was also intrigued by this woman who seems to be a local shaman, offering prayers whilst scattering a thick smoking incense and also throwing some seeds to ensure the productivity of a business. The drawback of this process is that the women then requested some sort of payment for her services. I saw many sellers giving her some change.
Most of the people in the market seems to be friendly with me. I understood that they rarely receive any outsiders within the area. Most people here enjoy their photos to be taken. I’ve been approached by many to take pictures of them so they can see it in the viewfinder. That makes this market a photographer’s heaven. So next time you visit a city, make sure to visit one of their many markets!