The ‘black’ market is a sprawling place where everyone comes to buy everything.
It’s likely cheaper than the international supermarket too.
With my field recorder at the ready, I capture a transient cacophony of sound. Megaphone announcements, sellers advertising their wares and moving them around on trolleys, haggling voices, guttural tones, excited kids, laughing, Chinese music and the distant sound of trains, and traffic in the surrounding streets.
I thought that a black market was somewhere where goods were sold illegally. But the stalls seems to be well organised and it’s not obvious that anyone is doing anything wrong.
Some of the lanes are narrow and clogged, with people loitering and ‘window’ shopping.
When I apologetically squeeze past a cluster of women, I feel one of them fiddling with the zip of my trouser leg pocket. I slowly realise that she’s trying to steal my wallet! I’m relieved when I make it through to the other side with my finances still intact.
It’s a good lesson for beginners. I quickly exit the market, vowing to leave my wallet at home next time. Perhaps I should just hide some cash in my shoe.