Pasar Badung is the huge market area in central Denpasar, famous among locals. Today I drove Ika, Jevon and my mother-in-law there, to check things out. You never quite know how somebody will react to a place. A westerner could view Pasar Badung as a wonderful example of Asian culture, or a stinking example of lack of hygiene and organization. But how would somebody from Java view it? The market is located on Jl. Veteren and took maybe 20 minutes to get to, because of traffic and my driving. Parking across the road on the Jl. Kartini, a Parkirman (parking attendant) quickly got 2,000rp out of me.
There is no entry fee to the market, and our first stop was cruising some of the food vendors outside. Ika and her mother didn’t seem super interested in snacks, as they had each powered a huge bowl of rice, vegetables and tempe before leaving the house. I got a 5 sticks of ikan laut (mashed sea fish, grilled). The vendor asked for ‘empat ribu rupiah‘ (4,000rp) smiling. I offered ‘dua ribu rupiah‘ (2,000rp) and got it, her and the locals laughing. “You don’t know the local price, ” laughed one guy. No worries, I think 2,000rp is okay, and I know by now that hitting the ‘bule‘ up money is a national sport out here. In Asia, your market skills are constantly tested, nothing personal.
Walking around the edge of the market, Ika spotted a cake shop and picked out a bag to take home. Up on the 2nd floor, were bags of spices, sacks of ingredients and piles of garlic. Ika squealed as a mouse jumped off of a sack towards her. Ika’s mum bought a large feather duster for 15,000rp, which would cost 25,000rp-30,000rp in a regular shop. Also on sale were many large pieces of kitchen equipment, such as giant woks, the kinds used to cook pisang goreng (fried banana) at the night market.
Back outside we took a look at the fruit market, and saw wani’s, the mango like fruit with a creamy white meat, and giant mangos. The general consensus was pretty positive and I think Ika and her mother, would enjoy another visit, if they had things in mind they needed.