Sunday, May 9, 2010

Outside Gate No. 2

Despite the heat and the dust, most Sunday afternoons I head out the backside of our complex to the local market... Across the road that borders our complex is a neighborhood called, "Geja Village." The market in Geja is in full-swing on Saturday and Sunday evenings. I took my camera today so I could share some of my weekly routine with you.
Geja Market is dusty and dirty but there are very typical India sights to see... The first one is the outdoor barber. You can find these guys everywhere. They do pretty good job - although I can't vouch for the cleanliness of the comb, scissors and razor. The going rate is about 15 rupees (about US $.30) per cut and another Rs15 for a shave. The omelet boy is here everyday cooking over his hot skillet. He probably works from 11am-11pm every day. Hard and soft boiled eggs, and omelets with white toast are made to order. Just up the road are the meat stalls. These are usually operated by men of the Muslim faith because they are non-vegetarians. The chickens they sell spend their last hours here in mesh cages before winding up as Tikka, Butter Chicken or Murgh Keema (ground chicken). The murgh-wallas don't smile a whole lot, but they do a brisk business.
I am a regular customer with Raju. Raju tells me he was born in the state of Bihar, but now lives here in Noida. He is definitely my vegetable guy. His prices are fair and it helps that Raju knows a little English. We always shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Raju has the widest variety of veggies in the Geja market - even broccoli and zucchini on most days. Broccoli and zucchini are definitely not on the radar in a typical Indian kitchen.
My favorite character in the market is the guy I call the "hip spice man." He sells a variety of Indian masalas and chillies in beautiful colorful piles, wears a turban and has nicer sunglasses than me.
The local market never disappoints.