Street shopping

This article was featured on Sassy Mama, a leading family portal in Hong Kong, on April 24, 2013. Visit

I am a lover of small boutique shops, specially the ones on the street. When I have nothing specific to buy I love browsing through street markets whether they are in HK or Mumbai or any other part of the world. I don't particularly love shopping but if I do shop it is the knick -knacks in the street market that I find so hard to resist.  The Li Yuen streets of Central, Jardin Bazaar of Causeway Bay or my most favourite Wanchai street market are any day preferable to Pacific Place or IFC! As a child my mother used to take me to B.B.Dadar, Crawford market, Matunga, Linking road in Bandra, Mumbai and I used to keep staring at all the interesting and colourful things hanging out from these shops.

I can browse endlessly through rows and rows of small shops selling anything from antiques to ordinary stationery, accessories, clothes, bags, shoes or even the Chinese dried food stuff like the ones that I saw yesterday at Sai Ying Pun. I was walking down Queens Road West browsing through the small shops which were selling all kinds of dry pulses and dried sea food most of which I could not recognise. Some looked like starfish, some sea weeds, some were these black flower-like things and many more which I have no clue about. Now the reason I was observing these foodstuff shops and their produce so closely yesterday was because I was looking for dried shrimp. We have a mini fish pond (if you can call it one) on the podium level of our building and my younger son and I like to go and feed the fish there sometimes. We normally take some bread for them and they are quite responsive to our presence and come towards us as if to say a hello or maybe thank you. While they do eat the bread, the other day I saw a neighbour feeding something else to them and the fish looked quite frenzied swimming criss-cross and poking there big fishy mouths out of the water to grab a bite of their snack. They looked very passionate about whatever they were being fed and I soon found out that it was dried shrimp. Ever since I have been on the lookout for this tasty snack, peeking into these traditional shops to see what I can find.  Unfortunately with my very limited Cantonese my search was not successful. Hence I just continued walking. I browsed through a hand bag shop debating about buying a waist pouch for my morning jog, through a stationery shop debating about buying calligraphy pens, through a Chinese lantern shop, a cane furniture shop. Finally I ended up buying just a pair of socks for the boys. (No wonder my mum hates going shopping with me!).

I thought I should take a photograph of our mini fish pond for this post and I went there this morning only to see a notice put up there saying 'Do not feed the fish!' with a little drawing at the bottom of a hand feeding a fish a big cross on top just to ensure that everybody understands. So much for my dried shrimp hunting!

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