As the sun rises in the humid sky, a woman draped in a shawl turns over spiky magenta dragonfruit, finally purchases one, peels away the skin and buries her teeth in its gray, kiwi-like flesh. Nearby, a short man in a red cap clutches the feet of two live chickens, a bird hanging from each hand as he weighs them against each other before making a selection and handing a couple of bills to another man who brushes the rejected, squawking bird back into its cage. At a table just beyond that, a woman cleaves a fish with a swift, dull whack, putting a stop to its slippery slapping. Right in front of me, the smell of oil and meat wafts into the morning air as an old woman with silver hair paints batter on a hot, flat surface, then pulls it up with a stick. She takes the translucent pancake and wraps it around pungent minced pork, douses it with a sweet, vinegary sauce, and passes it over to two people sitting on low stools, who eat their breakfast noisily with chopsticks and spoons. And all the while, other shoppers crowd by, chattering in myriad languages, buying, selling, haggling, eating,... More >>>