Going to markets in every country I visit has become a routine (evidenced here, here, and here). Not only is it a simple and pleasant way to gain insight into the local culture but hopefully I’ll also discover a new type of fruit. Plus it’s always a cheap way to get fresh fruit and veggies. However, when I visited Georgia the focus shifted from the produce to the people selling it. For the first time ever the vendors where the highlight of my visits. Not just once, but in every single market I went to in Georgia it was always the vendors that stood out.
Why? They were simply the friendliest! We obviously didn’t speak the same languages but they constantly interacted with me with what little English they might know or plain old body language. Yes, there was the usual amazing display of produce plus the offering of fruits and veggies with no expectation for me to buy anything but essentially what distinguished them from vendors in other countries was their attitude. They posed for photos, asked to take photos with me, and one adorable old lady even asked if she could take a photo of her friend in the stall opposite her! All this accompanied with constant laughter.
So yes, out of all the markets I’ve visited worldwide the vendors in the Georgian markets made my visits so special they will always have a special place in my heart.
Oh, and did you notice all the walnuts? No wonder Georgian cuisine uses them in everything!