Monday, May 17, 2004

Sweet Adelaide

Riven between my two worlds, I have been trying to adjust to being back in Adelaide through a process of immersion. Going for walks as a cultural sponge. Loosening the thought processes and allowing the body to be a sensory receptor.
A neurasthenic approach, perhaps.
Perhaps just a wallow.
My favorite place is the central market where on Saturday I firstly lunched on fish curry and then, soothed by the comfort of familiar Asian food, I meandered among the stalls where the stallholders were shouting down the prices. "Dollar, dollar, dollar," rang through the air from all directions and people huddled around barrows freshly loaded with the end-of-week bargains. And into the fish market I roamed where people clustered around the high counters waiting for the shout-down specials. And the shouts roared from the fish counters and from the poultry stands and the people, laden with bags of provisions, jostled and called back. And it was raucous and jubilant and wildly alive. I stood in the midst of it all and let it reverberate through my body. Lovely. A dose of vibrant humanity. Like floating in delicious people soup.
The Continental delicatessan was shouting down prices, too. I bought some extravagant custard confections for a song - and a batard. I was not there for shopping, after all. Just the ambience. And I wandered on among the fresh fruit and veg, the colors and fragrances. Barrows of vivid sliced watermelon, piles of salad vegetables, boxes of pears, citrus....
The Asian groceries with their mountains of greens.
And, of course, the sense that we now are also an Asian market, for our population is now strongly Asian. Which makes me feel comfortable and optimistic for our country.

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