Tic- tac. The clock marks the passing of another second. Tic- tac. People rush to work early in the morning. Tic- tac. The fight against the clock starts for many people. Some rushing to arrive to a certain place, but some striving to make the best out of their little space. Tic- tac. The Shard watches silent over the crowds that flood the city.
Not far away, on the narrow streets you can hear the Borough Market slowly waking up. Countless merchants begin to unpack their fresh goods. The chutney jar is neighbor to the boar sausage, the Levant lamb finds peacefully place next to the sea bass, while the simmering pot spreads around an incredible taste of cooked food. It smells like sweets, then as you go further like fish, like bread, like soup and fruits and jams. One can find a bazaar of everything and anything, from Turkish delight to Christmas chocolate, from cheese to olive oil, from veggies to fruits.
As the light pierces the darkness a tiny pub welcomes the first clients, and while they indulge in their hot coffee fruit juices await for their customers few steps further. Young students bake bread, young chefs cook the lunch, young drivers deliver food, young ladies sell candies, old ladies sell jam, old gentlemen sell game. Countless merchandises await to be taken in or carefully arranged on the stands.
It is impossible to step in this place and not feel the atmosphere. The selling atmosphere, the Christmas atmosphere but also the history. Crossing through the market I could not help but think how many generations have lived, sold, got born, died close to this market. It’s a place in the heart of London that has seen many people come and go, each one of them with another story.
Fur trees and decoration await for the holy night when everybody will be home enjoying Christmas. Fragile orchids and wrapped roses await in the cold of the morning for the warm hand that could carry them home.
I have always had a weakness for the open market, and I had to stop here today just to remember why. It’s because beyond all wrappings and fuss here one can see, smell and taste life itself. Thank you Borough Market for this new slice of life you have offered me today. There could never be a right price tag attached to it.
Photos: memyselfandela, December 2013