I do not recall the exact moment I realized I loved going to the market. As a child living in Trinidad, I knew the exact locations of all the markets and was even aware of the fact that overcrowded weekends featured the largest variety of goods for sale.
I remember how I would stare out the car window at the vendors as we drove by a market to ensure that I never missed anything of interest.
At some point, my Dad, who did the weekly grocery shopping, began to take me on these weekend food gathering trips. I was only too happy to get dressed, grab the basket and get in the car. “Adventures would abound,” my kiddy brain told me, and for some reason I always wanted to wear these little white plastic boots I owned. I used to call them my “market boots” or my “pick mango boots”.
Fast forward to Coronation Market in Kingston, Jamaica some thirty years later. I knew this market sprawl existed as it is the subject of quite a bit of local conversation and newspaper articles. It is a market where vendors from all over the island come into “town”, which is Kingston, the city, to wholesale and retail all sorts of goods. This market has a reputation of offering goods for sale far cheaper than you would pay at the traditional supermarket or roadside vendors. In essence, Coronation Market is the venue for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at the most competitive prices.
I was ably warned by Liz, my mother-in-law’s helper, who was to be my escort to the market, “Mek sure yu doh wear nuttin fancy, doh bring yuh purse and we not walking de whole market.” This meant do not get dressed up, do not bring a pocketbook and that we would not be walking around the market like tourists or spectators – we were there to shop and then leave. Continue reading “Coronation Market: Kingston, Jamaica”