Friday, January 30, 2015

Burmese Days 11: Bo Kyoke Road Sidewalk Markets

Dear Readers, in the previous post, I visited Scott's Market in downtown Rangoon. That seemed mostly oriented to the tourist trade and to arts and textiles. But tiny street markets are where many Burmese buy their supplies, vegetables, and foods. Across Bo Kyoke Road from Scott's market, the entire sidewalk for several blocks is one continuous mass of vendors, crowds, vegetables, food stands, and chickens.
This is one of the family photographs from the same area in 1957 (Anscochrome taken with a Leica IIIC camera). During my recent rip, a couple of people who saw a print said this might have been at a cinema that was formerly on that road.
Today, the scene is more crowded and food vendors have taken over. The huge citrus fruit in the second photograph are pomelo (Citrus grand is), which I found to be a lot of work to peel.
You can find almost any kind of green vegetable or grass you could imagine. I wonder how the vendors rent space for their chunk of sidewalk? 
Want a snack? These fried guys are full of protein and are a Burmese delicacy.
Burmese are very literate, and we saw a good number of book-sellers with stands jammed full of books and pamphlets.  
This is 27th street, lined with vendors. It is cheerful on a sunny day, sweltering in summer, and a mess in the rain.
Want fast food? Well, here it is locally-sourced and prepared.
A few blocks further east near the Sule Pagoda, the shops are more industrial with tools, locks, plumbing, and metal-works. The way industries cluster reminds me of the flea market in downtown Athens or Kathmandu.

In the next article, we will go to a giant wholesale market near the Yangon River.

Photographs taken with a Panasonic G3 with Olympus 9-18mm lens, Fuji X-E1, and a Nexus 4 phone.

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