The Market

Emelita Pogai documents her return to Samoa in a series of fascinating blog posts over in the ville. In this episode, she visits the icons of Apia living – the makeki – and finds that nothing really changes in Samoa.

The Markets were the coolest place ever.

The Savalalo market on the water front was where I did most of my shopping to bring back for the famz and where I was sure I would find some pork buns!! On the back side was the fish market. Dad made sure I checked out all the little fish hanging around the base of the boats that were docked up(being the avid fisherman/woman that I am) before we bought our dinner for the evening.

There was a real buzz around the market. Buses and Taxi’s were in full force aiding in transporting in and out, the constant flow of people. People came here for a number of reasons; food and gifts being the most obvious after all, that’s what brought us there too, but after a while it was clear to see who was also there to check out the talent.

The Fugalei markets opposite Farmer Joe’s seemed to sell more food than clothing or souvenirs and was generally alot busier. Buses were constantly loading as quick as they unloaded so there was always alot of movement.

The real fun came when we bought stuff. Now it doesn’t take long to figure out that you’re not a local and unfortunately sometimes stall holders try to take advantage of that. I kind of expected this anyway, let’s face it, opportunists are everywhere but because I anticipated it I was able to ask for the correct change without too much hassle of which I probably just spent on more pork buns. Yum!

One lady I bought some earrings from was just beautiful. She was built strong and homely. We got to talking a little about where I was from and why I was there, of which I told her I had come to Samoa for a holiday, to meet family for the first time but most importantly to write.

Then I bought some Sea Worms from an old man with a kind face who waited patiently as many of the sellers did for people to buy their stuff. I wondered the long hours they endured everyday and how many days they went without a single sale. I thought of my own parents in their old age and saw instantly the reason they pushed us to work hard and make our way in the world. Coming face to face with the reality they had grown up with was humbling.

The market is the place to go to if you want to meet real people and eat real food. I’m glad I took the time to connect even with a few people, even if they never remember me.

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