I visit my local market weekly. Luckily, that market just happens to be Wanchai Market, one of the best markets in Hong Kong. Why spend oodles of dough at Great Food Hall when you can pick up the same stuff for much less at Wanchai Market?

A few weeks ago, my partner wanted to make his “famous” ratatouille–his only dish. I wasn’t feeling well so I told him to buy the veggies he needed without me.

“Go to Wanchai Market, ” I said, “because you’ll get screwed if you go to Great Food Hall.”

“But Great Food Hall is closer,” he whined. And this on a beautiful day.

I told him to do what he wished and commented on how stupid and lazy he was. I absolutely hate getting screwed on a good deal. Not so my partner. He’ll sheepishly pay an exorbitant amount of money for something you can get much cheaper elsewhere, come home, look down at his feet and say, “Yeah, well I guess I got screwed.”


So he returned home carrying a dark brown plastic bag that said Great Food Hall on it and asked me not to look at the receipt.

“There’s one born every minute.” I steamed.

Later, he confessed that he couldn’t believe how much the tomatoes were. I told him I couldn’t believe how stupid he was.

“Then why do you always go to Great Food Hall?” he demanded.

“Don’t you listen to me!? I only go there for the special stuff. Who the fuck else is going to carry corn tortillas, buffalo mozzarella and freshly prepared pesto!? Who!? Only a fucking dumbass would waste their money on those Goddamn tomatoes.”

In order to avoid a replay of that Saturday afternoon, I visit Wanchai Market every Friday afternoon. I arrive with my tan canvas bag that reads Great Food Hall ready to do business. As a vegetarian, but lover of gore flicks, I like staring at the hunks of bloody meat dangling from the metal hooks and studying the fish in their cramped holding tanks as they stare back at me.

I go to this one food stall for my oranges, another for my broccoli. Walk down the hallway and visit yet another vendor for my squash and peppers. Incidentally the squash here is not what we’re used to in the states. Here it’s hairy like a big, green amoeba with brown cilia. It looks like Tom Selleck if he were a green vegetable, or Chewbacca‘s poo. I pay a little more for the “American” squash.

Once I’m done, I go home and Veggie Wash the hell out of everything. You see, the only bad thing about buying produce at Wanchai Market is having to wash it when you get home. You’ve got to give those apples a Silkwood shower, otherwise you’ll have a big, green amoeba with brown cilia inside of you. I once examined a cellophane-wrapped package of corn and found two bugs trying to burrow a hole inside a kernel. I don’t buy corn there anymore. I go to Great Food Hall for that.