๐Ÿช #MarketFriday | ๐ŸŒป Zonnebloem Markt | ๐Ÿ› Aisha's ุญู„ุงู„ Delight | Paramaribo, Suriname

in Market Friday โ€ข last month

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It's #MarketFriday once again thanks to legend @dswigle, and I had to visit the Zonnebloem Markt for some odds and ends. ๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿงด๐Ÿ…๐Ÿž


First, A Little Marketing

Pacifico is a very popular Suriname processed foods brand

ย  ย  ย We have recently moved into a smaller apartment not much bigger than a prison cell, but we've decreased our rent by $50, something I didn't previously think possible in Suriname. With our new cheaper rent comes many sacrifices, the biggest one being the distances we have to walk have just doubled.

ย  ย  ย With this in mind, we now must head out in the morning or risk turning to dust in the midday equatorial sun. The first thing we see every morning when we close the gate is some old handpainted advertising from a cornershop that used to be across the street.

๐Ÿฅต We Made It ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

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ย  ย  ย We arrived at Zonnebloem Markt much more exhausted than we normally do, but we won't let multiple kilometers stand in the way of us and our produce. I did quickly realize I should've drank a liter of water before leaving our apartment though.

Zonnebloem โ˜€๏ธ Zonne Damage

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ย  ย  ย I originally took this picture to show you all the market signage, but I guess we have lived in Suriname long enough to see this sign get bleached by the sun, no longer legible from this side of the road. I think most of my clothing has lost this much color since we've been here in Suriname.

๐ŸŒ Banana Boycott ๐Ÿšซ

@sreypov and I begin the Suriname banana boycott

ย  ย  ย We headed inside to see that bananas, good ole' bananas, the last fruit we could afford to eat here, have gone up too much in price for us to continue willy-nilly eating them whenever we want. It only took one look at the banana table to see the banana game has changed in Suriname, and we have gracefully bowed out of fruit-eating until further notice.

Longbeans Never Fresh ๐Ÿ‘Ž

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ย  ย  ย Any random village market in Cambodia has literally hundreds of varieties of edible meats, plants, vegetables, and fruits for sale, but here in Suriname it's the same 20 or so fruits and vegetables day in and day out, and it get's boring.

ย  ย  ย We used to love eating longbeans in Cambodia, but in Suriname they are always dry and spongy, obviously picked too late and not fresh, but the locals don't seem to mind. @sreypov says in Cambodia, longbeans in this condition are given to the pigs.

The Affordable Zone ๐Ÿ‘ท

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ย  ย  ย At the back of the market is a sort of dry goods area, where there is dried fish, beans, some snacks, flour, sugar, rice, and a few other things. There are also potatoes and onions in this section, which are relatively affordable, so our new boycott diet is going to be a lot beans, potatoes, onions, and rice.

๐Ÿœ The Bamie Problem ๐Ÿงช

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ย  ย  ย Bamie are the noodles of Suriname, an adaptation that came from the Javanese immigrants long ago. Living in Cambodia, we were accustomed to buying our noodles fresh from the person who made them at home from rice they often grew themselves. Here, modern technology is the name of the game, and all the noodles come from a factory and are laced with yellow food coloring.

ย  ย  ย I've had Mii Goreng many times outside of Suriname, but I have yet to eat the Javanese noodles here because they all have yellow food coloring. Surinamers really like their noodles artificially yellow for some reason. The words "kleursel" and "kleurstof" are on every Suriname bamie noodle package, so we haven't had much interest in giving them a try.

๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ Let's Skedaddle ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ

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ย  ย  ย With some cucumbers, tempeh, tofu, and tomatoes in hand, we headed for the checkout to tally up the damage and hit the road again.

Aishah's ุญู„ุงู„ Delight

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ย  ย  ย On our way back to the apartment, we swung by Aishah's Delight, a Halal eatery in our neighborhood we buy samosas from on rare occasions. It's far from a delight, but the room-temperature samosas are edible if purchased before 11am, and also the only vegan choice.

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ย  ย  ย Don't let the large menu mislead you, there are only 8 to 10 dishes available, and all of them are pre-cooked and waiting for you behind glass. I've never once heard any typical kitchen noises from the kitchen here, so I guess we are brave to continue eating the samosas.

ย  ย  ย Aishah's should hire someone to bang plates and slam a knife against a cutting board all day so the place sounds like they are making fresh food in the kitchen, it would give me more purchasing confidence.

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ”ง Finish It Up With Some Shadetree Repairs ๐Ÿ”ฅ

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ย  ย  ย Finally back from our #marketfriday trip, @sreypov sat down with a mission to fix an abandoned and cracked plastic tub so that we can wash our clothes at this new apartment. The struggle is real folks, but a little melted plastic can fix a lot of problems, but mostly just other broken plastics.

๐Ÿ™ THANKS FOR READING ๐Ÿ™

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Dad
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ย last monthย (edited)

I am sorry to hear things are so challenging for your family now. More distance to walk? Expensive bananas, in a tropical country...? That makes no sense... ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Beans that should have been given to the pigs? Noodles with food coloring dye? A'ishah's undelightful samosas? Cracked washtubs? ๐Ÿ˜ I certainly hope tomorrow is a better day for you and your family! ๐Ÿ’œ

Survival is the name of the game, and we see positive things in our future, especially the ownership of a Bajaj RE again. When we're in an affordable country with three-wheeled transport, we will feel at ease again. Mauritius is still looking pretty good. Hugs form Suriname!! !ENGAGE 35

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Damn that must be so hard re banana's, I would find it super hard to walk by them. Me and my girls are bug lovers of fruit, but we also have a lot growing on the land we live on which is great. Know that this is only temporary and great things await you and your family xxx

It is frustrating, but kind words like yours help a lot. Each time we stock up on Western Union, we go to exchange currency, only find out Suriname dollars are further devalued, which gets our hopes up. But then we go the market and see they've raised the prices on everything to compensate. I've learned to never get my hopes up just because we got a high exchange rate.

If we end up in Ethiopia, Mauritius, Nepal, Bangladesh or any other countries remotely interested in receiving us, we will give thanks to the banana gods. !ENGAGE 25

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I feel super naive asking this... but why is it that the food selection in a tropical country is so limited in diversity and even quantity (e.g. why are bananas so expensive)? In temperate climates I can kinda understand that running greenhouses is a bit of an investment... But in a place with so much sun, and presumably water? What's the deal with Suriname that makes it so unappealing plant-food-wise, compared to Cambodia or Mexico (or India, Egypt, Indonesia, Colombia, and probably most places on tropical latitudes)?

ย last monthย 

I feel just as naive as you, and I've lived here over a year. I have no answers for you. I see food rotting at the markets everyday, and no one ever attempts to decrease the price at the end of the day or anything. I think one problem here is that the soil here is crap, although Surinamers would tell you otherwise.

I remember as a kid reading about slash and burn, and it still remains true. You can cut down the Amazon trees and farm the land, but it can only last so long, because those trees have long roots that reach way down for nutrients, and there is little to be had on the surface. I have seen a few places here with several inches of topsoil formed from deciduous forest leaves, but it's not the norm here at all.

I also think people just aren't willing to work that hard in the agricultural industry. The Haitians came here and outfarmed the Surinamers in a matter of years. I can't even imagine what Cambodian citizens would do here if given land grants. We are pretty spoiled vegan chefs, and most people rave about Suriname's food, but I've had authentic Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian foods, and none of the Suriname versions compare to the original.

You would think there might be a Malaysia type thing going on here, where the cultural melting pot would inspire creativity, experimenting and diversity, but it's much the opposite. There is only one choice in the whole country for a vegetarian roti filling, and that is potatoes and longbeans prepared the exact same way in every location. !ENGAGE 55

Hahahaha, that the Haitians outfarmed the Surinamers sounds quite familiar. Here in Mexico there is a similar story in the state of Veracruz, and I don't even know where the afrodescendants came from. Anyway, it sounds impressive to outfarm Mexican campesinos, but they did it.

But who are the Surinamers anyway? Colonizing Dutch settlers? Or people who migrated from other Dutch dependencies, like Indonesia? Are there any local, indigenous, South American cultures left, who could impart their knowledge of working the land? I think that may be a key ingredient to successful farming.

Have you heard about Terra Preta? From what I've read, it was an indigenous way of the peoples of the Amazon, using one's waste (kitchen compost, human feces, charcoal from fires, and broken clay) to turn into dark fertile soil that was way more nutritious than what the rainforest would create, where most nutrients were up in the many layers of vegetation.

Okay, I don't know where I'm going with this. In any case, the situation of a poor selection of expensive produce makes me see it as an opportunity for food production. But then again, I'm sure others must have thought of this before... So maybe there is something about the whole situation (government?) that makes such ideas unfavorable? I don't know. I'm left with a feeling mixed of bewilderment and unused potential.

The native tribes here stay in the Amazon, but I think they were traditionally hunters and gatherers, so any agriculture they get involved with is likely copying the style of methods they've seen others do already.

Soil rehabilitation is possible, but really tough. I've seen in sandy soils in Cambodia, with one strong rain, all the compost and organics get pushed through the sand and disappear, so it would take many years here to rehabilitate the land, and we are only migrants wanting to leave, so I doubt we will help with this problem. I've tried Caribbean life, North American life and even Latin American living, but ultimately the western way of life is just not for us.

I've heard of Terra Preta, but unused potential is the name of the game in Suriname. Too many want to go to Miami, Amsterdam, Curacao, and Aruba, so there is a lot of brain drain. Although there isn't a cocaine use problem here, many locals have told me a lot of the easy wealth here comes from helping Latin American countries ship cocaine from Suriname, so I think there are few incentives to work that hard.

Luckily the Cubans and Haitians keep things moving here, but the Venezuelans left a long time ago. I haven't seen one in at least half a year, so that speaks to the level of problems here. !ENGAGE 100

Aha, that makes sense: smuggling, easy wealth. Well, at least it's good to hear that it doesn't come with the cocaine use problem, or worse, with the territorial battles of those who are engaged in it.

As for land rehabilitation, maybe the native hunter-gatherers got it all figured out: instead of growing human made landscapes, let the forest take over, accumulate all the nutrients above ground, and well... hunt and gather them.

Thank you for all this interesting insight into one of the places I had virtually no idea about.

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Much love @innerblocks and @thekittygirl. As always, thanks a bunch. !ENGAGE 15

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A visit from @foodiesunite is always a pleasure. Thanks @anggreklestari for the support. !ENGAGE 15

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ย last monthย 

And bananas supposed to be the affordable stable price fruit. Longer journey now, damn! You don't sound pleased at all with the food options there man. I couldn't help but notice the Hummer parked up. Reminds me o f Jamaica, amongst all the poverty there is a BWM, Benz and Porsche parked up!


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It doesn't make sense, and I've given up trying to make it so. One thing I haven't seen here are the banana gassing houses like I've seen in Jamaica, but production here isn't at the stage where that would ever be needed. This place is a total mystery.

Funny, in our little village of 8,000 people in Cambodia, there are multiple Bentleys, Ferraris, Range Rovers, and I've even seen a Bugatti once. In Cambodia the wealth is concentrated into the hands of a very small group of elite, but here it is in the hands of 80%, making little room for poor people to unite or rise up in numbers.

I think I prefer to live among 90% of people in the same boat as myself, it causes us to look out for one another. Suriname is definitely in the grip of selfish capitalism, just as all other western countries are. Everybody would rather climb the ladder than lift others up. !ENGAGE 30

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Wow, so many fresh vegetables! That must be a large community, if they can sell all that stock! ๐Ÿ˜

ย last monthย 

Sad thing is, I bet 40% ends up in the dumpster. People here will not discount produce before it goes bad as many developing countries do. In Cambodia, most produce transactions happen directly between the buyer and the grower, and that is not the norm here.

I think there is more incentive to sell what you've grown versus someone else's produce. In Cambodia, nothing at the markets have a price on them, and it's up to the buyer and seller to find an agreeable price based on the quality, time of day, etc. !ENGAGE 10

That's a strange culture, for sure...

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ย last monthย 

Wow! What a generous giveaway. I put submitted all the legit entries I could, looking forward to the results. !ENGAGE 10

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Thank you so much for taking part in #MarketFriday. You did not disappoint!! I am so happy that there were some of you that put in a post this week anyway. It was strange to be sitting here and not having to put together a post for tomorrow night. But, I do apologize for being so late getting the replies back so late this week. I failed to say last week that #MarketFriday has been going on for three and a half years and I have missed a couple, but, very few. Normally, if I am on vacation without internet, I try to find some to post, but, like I said, there were a few that missed. As you can see, I didnโ€™t tip this week!!! It has nothing to do with you, but, they changed the way I buy it and post it, so I will be looking into that!!! How can I post and comment without the tip? They all bounced back to me this week, so my apologies!

I hope you are all taking the time to collect new pictures for #MarketFriday while we are taking the time off from the challenge. As I said, feel free to collect some pictures at the markets or other places. I am not going anywhere, posting as usual, and will be back, but, for the challenge to be done right, it takes a fair amount of time. :)

The entire challenge has migrated from a stroll through a market to a cultural extravaganza. ! It really surprised me, but, also delights me to know how much effort people put into it. It pointed out our differences in the beginning, but, then, it really started showing how many things our cultures share. When the day is done, it shows off how human we all are and how we basically all care about our families and others. I love the experience of it all. I appreciate the love and support given to #MarketFriday! Thank you! Truly!
Your participation adds a piece of your world, and I have to say, people are interested in is seeing it. This entire challenge has opened up the world to me and so many others. Thank you again for being a part of all this!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Fridays are all about the #MarketFriday Challenge! Looking to take part in it? Here is how:

How to Participate:

Go to the market! Any market will do! Food, clothing, plant, or animal, if you wish. You can go to the zoo, an art auction, and restaurants. Anywhere or anything that you pay money for any kind of service.
Take pictures! Be creative! Itโ€™s fun!
Tell us a little bit about the market, what brought you here?
Post the picture.(s)
Donโ€™t forget to use the MarketFriday Community #196308 to post from or hashtag it! #MarketFriday by @dswigle If you hashtag it, drop the link to your post here so I can easily find them.

As always, please remember! #MarketFriday loves you!

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Thanks for the love @dswigle!!

I enjoy your #MarketFriday initiative, and I try to make sure to do a post at least once or twice every couple months. Sometimes we are even at home bored on Friday, and take a trip to the market just for a #MarketFriday post. !ENGAGE 75

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I like the market situattion in Suriname, just like the market in Java Indonesia. The fruit are fresh,vegetables and price is not expensive.