Yesterday I got up early to take some photos at a wet market in Singapore.
At the beginning, I was appalled. I walked in and around me were rows of stalls selling fresh fish or chicken. I’m not sure what I expected, but certainly not rows of dead animals (note to myself: learn something about a place before you go there!).
It was still dark when I arrived, but the scene I encountered was quite lively. The vendors were already busy preparing their products and customers walked around inspecting them. Everyone had something to do, their day had started early.
I took a deep breath (and promptly inhaled the smell of fish – luckily I quickly got used to it) and walked around for a while with my camera in the hand in order to take my surroundings in to get a feeling of the place. People were busy and worked efficiently.
A man asked me if I was there for a project. For once I wasn’t treated like a tourist but like a local student. No wonder, considering the place and the time of the day. His question gave me the courage to finally approach a vendor to ask him (in Chinese) if I could take photos of him.
There were also female vendors but they weren’t as open to me as the men were, that’s the reason why there are only men in the photos.
Since I still feel anxious when I take photos of people for too long (I’m not the most social person out there) I left after covering the part of fish and chicken, leaving the fruits and veggie stalls for another day.
Speaking some Chinese definitely helped me a lot when it came to asking for permission to take the photos, I think some people would have reacted differently if they’d thought I was a tourist.
These photos show a rather local site of Singapore, away from the glam you find in the travel guides.