It may not conjure up images of fluffy clouds and chubby cherubs, but Subotica's outdoor market is my own little piece of 'heaven.'
Market bliss is within walking distance from my home; 8 minutes each way to be exact. You will never find green tomatoes wearing "Made in the Bahamas" stickers, and everything is healthy, fresh and pesticide free. Walking down the isles, I often feel like I am judging a beauty contest. "Now, which apples look better, is that the best price here for broccoli, and are those really nectarines?" While everything is cheap, my favorite game is to see how much I can purchase with as little money as possible. I never barter (although I have been told that it is acceptable and expected), but I get a good lay-of-the-land before buying anything. None of the vendors speak English, so the market is the only place that forces me to practice my Serbian. I still use hand gestures and creative facial expressions, but I am starting to get more confident with the language. With my limited Serbian, I have even met a few of the vendors, and every time I visit the market, the first place I run is to Maria and her shiitake mushroom stand.
Our Serbian friends always chuckle when I talk about the market, it's as if they're thinking, "Ohhh, you silly American, you will get sick of all this soon enough."
But how do you get bored with such a place? You can find just about anything that you need at the market - except, of course, for the kitchen sink. Unless your kitchen sink is plastic, and if that's the case, then you are in luck.
|The plastic store for all your plastic needs.|
|My favorite little flower lady.|
There are several butchers at the outdoor market, but I am yet to brave the meat line. Darko told me that this meat is definitely more fresh than meat in the supermarkets, but I still haven't made the big switch.
|Tasty fresh apples.|
18 dinars for a kilogram of potatoes comes out to about .20 cents. Onions are also really cheap at the market. On one trip, I paid .5 cents for 5 mini onions. Housewife score! Shopping and saving, shopping and saving.
On a recent trip, I carried my monogramed tote bag (thanks mother-in-law for the thoughtful gift) to the market, and this is what I came home with. My frugal side came out, and I purchased everything pictured for $2.50!
Now you know why I say that the outdoor market is one of my favorite places! You are more than welcome to come and visit us in Subotica.
I promise to introduce you to my own little piece of (Serbian) heaven.