Grocery Shopping

Bitung, on the Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

View of the Aertembaga Market in Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Aertembaga Market

A visit to the Aertembaga Market in Bitung is not to be missed. The sprawling market spans a space probably over a city block, ranging through alleys and stalls and between numerous open buildings. A large chunk of the market is covered, with high roofs and open sides that give the impression the larger structure was planned and built as an open market space. Within the market are a variety of tables, stalls and counters where butchers, farmers, and vendors of all types sell their wares. One section in particular seems custom designed for butchers and poulterers, with high tiled worktops arranged in neat rows, over concrete pad.

Outside that central planned area, the market has grown haphazardly to include an array of temporary or permanent buildings, shacks, and umbrella- or tarpaulin-covered tables with dirt (where the goods being sold are dry) or mud (wet) paths winding between the apparently random market stalls. As I wrote in an earlier post, the sights, sounds, and smells are remarkable. The people we met are on the whole friendly and welcoming (though of course, there were also more than a few people for whom we sight-seeing visitors were an annoying impediment to their daily routines).

As usual, Nancy was the star of our show: She chatted and laughed with the vendors we passed and played with the small pack of children who followed us gleefully through the market. Many we passed asked to have their pictures taken; Nancy happily stopped whenever asked. It was like one of those television commercials in which the camera is the star. A young man in one stand dared Nancy to take his elder’s photo; the older man did not look pleased at all … until Nancy showed him the photo. Then everyone lit up, all smiles and a laughing “thumbs up.”

A vendor at Aertembaga Market (Bitung, Indonesia) shares a laugh as a tourist shares the picture she just took
Photo Time

(Top photo [“Aertembaga Market”]: Nikon D700; Nikkor 24mm wide-angle lens; ISO 200; f/2.2; 1/60 sec.)

(Bottom [“Photo Time”]: Nikon D700; Nikkor 24mm wide-angle lens; ISO 500; f/1.8; 1/30 sec.)