IMG_3434We had a half of a day left in Tel Aviv before our pilgrims arrived for their Once-in-a-lifetime tour of the Holy Land.  My bride and I had heard of an open air market that was just blocks from our hotel.  We were in an adventuresome mood.

With a not-to-scale map in hand, we got general directions from our hotel concierge and set off on a hunt for the open air market.  After a short six block foray we started seeing people coming from a common direction.  Each was carrying a plastic bag filled with produce.

That brought a smile to our faces.  We just went in the opposite direction.  We dodged a few cars, stopped a bus at an intersection and froze as a motorcyclist zoomed around us.  Then, the market came into sight.

The hustle and bustle of people foraging for necessitates and ingredients for the evening meal was fun.  I am not a crowd IMG_3435person but the experience of being in such a lively place pushed aside my inhibitions.  We clasped our hands tightly together and got jostled about and found ourselves having to step out of the flow to get a flavor of modern Israel.

A huge display of Turkish Delight made us smile.  Surely, the Chronicles of Narnia popped into our heads.  The powdered sugar jelly morsels made my mouth water.

Just ahead a brilliant display of baklava gave us more reason to salivate.  The honey aroma filled the market place.  That was
a temptation.

IMG_3436My attention was arrested again with the sight that is not common back home.  Fresh and smoked fish lay on open display for shoppers.  Fish farming is a huge success in Israel.  This selection had my jaw on the floor.

Food is a big attraction in this market place. Of course it is why people come.  Vendors hope to sell their foods to those who come here by the thousands.

But it is the crowds that ultimately fill my mind.  People are not bothered by the throngs.  Instead, they are focused.  A list is in their minds.

They are limited in what they purchase.  Most are walking, travel by bus or have a bicycle.  A big box store does not exist IMG_3433here. What someone can carry is common among the shoppers.

Bartering is going on all over the place.  Not only do people only buy what they need, no one wants to pay more than they have to in order to fill their shopping bags. Quality and bargain prices trumps quantity that will always be purchased tomorrow.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography