Spent over an hour walking through the Federation of Self Employees Market (FOSE) in Pettah. This consists, from what I could see, of three new hanger style buildings with open sides.
One was chock-a-block with stalls selling all types of items. Clothes on hangers, in bales or simple in piles, shoes, sox, belts, electronic goods, DVDs, tools, baubles, broaches, bangles and maybe even pearls.
Pettah is where Sri Lankans come when they want to buy something at the cheapest possible price. It is the antithesis of Odels. Sellers and buyers haggle and the noise is constant yet not overpowering. Prices asked of foreigners are four to five time what the seller would normally expect so if you do not bargain you deserve to be ripped off. Do not expect quality.
The second building housed sellers of every conceivable variety of fruits and vegetables. Heaps of green chilies, carrots, cauliflowers, gourds and aborigines of all shapes and sizes to name just a few, join with the mangos, pawpaws, wood apple, pineapples, passion fruits and other tropical fruits to present an artist’s palette of color and textures to tempt the most discerning cook.
There are also a few sellers of spices and even one or two selling dried salted fish which are a popular delicacy not just here in Sri Lanka but throughout the region. I see that some reviewers have turned up their noses and that the vendor was burning incense sticks. But lets face it, this market is a garden of roses compared to the salt and dry fish markets of the SE Asia.
And speaking of smells, I found a fruit vendor selling Sri Lankan durians. I bought one and tried it on the spot but sad to say it was no match to its relatives grown in Vietnam, Thailand or Malaysia.
The third building was not occupied when I visited. This is not one of the greatest markets I have visited but if you are in Pettah it is worth visiting.
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