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Markets go swanky

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GOING PLACES Air-conditioned supermarkets store exotic fruits and vegetables
GOING PLACES Air-conditioned supermarkets store exotic fruits and vegetables

Mangalore consumers now have access to the best of things, what with the city being swarmed by supermarkets, says M. RAGHURAM

Marketplaces have always been an integral part of civilisation. It was not just a place for business but a place where meetings happened. The marketplace has always fascinated artists with it being portrayed on canvas or in poetry. Be it Steven Spielberg or George Lucas, their movies have always included a sequence or two in a market. Today there are many different views on what a marketplace is. You have your air-conditioned supermarkets which stock everything from fruits to detergents and you still have your weekly santhes. The former is just the beginning to make its presence felt in Mangalore but the latter has always been a part of culture here. Watchers are of the opinion that the city has a very conservative market culture and Mangaloreans are not impulsive buyers, and are not the ones found bargaining with shopkeepers. But when it comes to quality it's always only the best that is in demand, be it common fish or fresh strawberries. Stall owners at various markets say that they spend a lot of time servicing customers. Abdul Hameed from Central Market complains that the consumers in Mangalore are too gentle and shy of bargaining. He says sometimes vendors expecting the consumer to bargain, quote higher rates, but when they don't and pay up higher rates, the vendors feel sorry for the customers. Right now the in-thing at markets across the city is exotic fruits and vegetables. They come from various parts of the state, country and some are even imported. Musk melons, strawberries, litchis, pears, Australian and Chinese grapes, Washington apples, Kiwi fruits, cherries, plums, rambutans, egg fruits, mangestiens, rose apples, green apples and Malayan star fruits, are some you can choose from. M. RAGHURAM

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