Wednesday, October 17, 2007

World's Largest Flea Market

Flea market atau 'pasar kutu' hmmm... dahulu nya ada lah satu tempat dimana perniagaan atau pun pertukaran barang dijalankan. The original flea market started likely in the northern suburbs of Paris back in the late 17th century, where ragpickers (pengutip kain buruk) exchanged their findings for a small sum. Some of the items were flea infested, so now we know where the name Flea Market comes from! Of course so much has changed since then...Kita biasa dengan pasar malam, pasar tani atau pun car boot sale... macam dekat Stadium Shah Alam tuu. But car boot sale originates from United Kingdom and thus more popular there. Selalu nya orang kata, harga pasar malam murah... Kat Shah Alam pelik sikit, ... harga barang di pasar malam Seksyen 19 lebih murah dari pasar malam Seksyen 6 tapi lebih mahal sikit dari Seksyen 17, walaupun jarak diantara seksyens di Shah Alam tu tak la jauh bebenor.. Barang dan pekedainya sama pulak tu! I think some of them even have 'tapak' di uptown Shah Alam yang buka sampai awal pagi....Wonder whether ia nya serancak dulu...The vast majority of flea markets in rural areas here sell goods that are second-hand and worth collecting. I thought it is the same like 20 years ago and maybe could find something interesting from San Jose Flea Market di Berryessa Road. Looking at the size of the flea market, one can find anything from toys to tires! Tempat nya ya amat la BESAR!..Even the special parking area ($6 per day) located across the street is HUGE! Several policemen are stationed to ensure flow of traffic and pedestrians. There are more than 8 miles of colorful alleys and treasure-laden corridors with over 2000 sellers. You'll find an enormous variety of collectibles,... arts, crafts, comic books, belt buckles, jewelry, and more. You'll see a huge selection of fashion clothing (mostly from Vietnam & China), walking shoes, fine furniture, and tools.. -from bonsai pruning shears to power meters. The place even sells cars & trucks! The Flea Market's quarter mile long row of produce is the busiest outdoor produce market (pasar tani) in California and features produce from local farms and around the world. Most of the vegetable & fruits are from South America - macam2 rupa, some I don't even know their names! Their mangoes are very much bigger & maniiiiss..and, 'ciku' ya rabbi punya besar...Smack-dab in the heart of Silicon Valley, the global center of technological innovation, this "no tech" business hosts 80,000 visitors a week, more than 4 million people a year! Largest open-air market in the country, some say in the world. The San Jose Flea Market started in 1959 and since then it opens every Wednesday till Sunday from dawn to dusk. The Flea Market is completely self sufficient with all sorts of amenities - musical band, restaurants, playground for kids and adequate number of restrooms that are extremely clean and maintained. The sellers here are multinational of origin - Vietnamese, Chinese, Indians, Mexicans. The Vietnamese-American here think highly of us because of what the Malaysian government did for them or even for their parents during the time of the 'boat people', 20 to 25 years ago. Most of them are doing very well here in the US - have got their own businesses and their children obtained good education and jobs! Visitors here are mostly hispanics - Spanish speaking. Looks like the flea market is a favourite spot for an inexpensive weekend outing for them to bring their family shopping, enjoy good food and entertainment. Oh yes, the 8.25% sales tax is not applicable in this flea market making the prices here slightly cheaper. Like in all other crowded places, one must hold on tight to their purses and wallets... kami nyaris2 menjadi mangsa 'pencopet'.

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