As a professional photographer, I am constantly looking for interesting things to shoot besides my usual food photography and corporate photography. As I was walking pass the wet market today, it reminds me of a small part of my childhood as a kid growing up in Ang Mo Kio.

I remembered when I was very young, my mother would often bring my sister and I to the wet market to do weekly grocery shopping. I never really enjoyed going to the wet market simply because the dirty water always splash onto my feet and I have to always walk very cautiously. The smell of the place was also not the most pleasant. And having to squeeze around sweaty aunties and brushing my arms against them makes me sick in my stomach. Although these are the not so pleasant experience, i do enjoy some parts of it.

Back in those days, there is a live chicken seller. They don’t have such activities these days due to hygiene standards being set. I can still remember this big tall, sweaty man who is probably in his early thirties wearing a white singlet and rugged jeans. He would throw the frantic chickens into a steaming hot machine that removes all the feathers. Oh and i still remember the cries of the chicken. Poor chickens. When the dead chickens came out, the feathers would be all gone. It was a sight that I remembered for life. Being such a young age, I didn’t think it was cruel. I just enjoyed watching this man in action. It was exciting to watch. 

Another stop that I really enjoyed was at this old couple’s shop. They were around the age of 60s or 70s. My sister and I would call them Ah Po. My mother would often house us there for a while so that she can do more shopping on her own. During this time, my sister and I would just hang around looking at the toys hanging on their shops or simply just people watch. It was good because I could see what are the latest toys in the market. Sometimes this old couple would also give us free toys. Although it wasn’t really fancy but I was still very happy about it. When my mother came to pick us up, we would bid our goodbyes to Ah Po. 

It gives me a nostalgic feeling thinking back about my childhood while walking around the market these days. As I walk around the market with my camera, it occurs to me that sometimes it can be so interesting just to stand and watch as the wet market comes alive. The interaction between the market patrons and the hawkers. All the bargaining and the hawker’s shouting of promotion. All these sights may not exist in the near future as our country continues to develop and when online grocery shopping is getting more common. I hope that our  wet markets continue to live in our society in the future. It is something our future generation may not see.