I love strolling through local markets in SE Asia. I mean those that the locals frequent. Vendors’ stalls are often nothing more than a space on the ground, even those with a roof over their head are still open to the elements – and the crowds – enticing shoppers with all the easily reached goods on display. Large bags filled with whatevers seem to be a favorite way to show off what’s for sale and they always catch my attention – and my camera’s too.
Originally these bags were made of burlap, and for awhile cotton. More recently they are constructed out of fiber made from recycled plastic, so these days they have a slight sheen to them. And are undoubtedly stronger too. At the Old Market in Siem Reap early one morning, a vendor’s massive display of rice – with more types than I ever knew existed – stretched along the sidewalk for what seemed like blocks. (Note: the bloody carcasses of freshly butchered livestock do not make for as pleasant of a photo.)
Later that evening I ran across a slightly different use of these bags at the Night Market, fish feed bags that had been recycled yet again and made into purses, duffle bags, messenger bags, and luggage of all types and sizes. Always in need of something to tote my purchases home from my holiday, I picked up a carry-on sized bag for under ten bucks. Lime green in color, it was unique enough I never had to worry about it being confused with someone else’s luggage. I’m thinking of getting a laptop version next time around, though probably not in pink.
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