Indonesia has a combination of modern and traditional methods of shopping. In most large cities you will find malls / grocery stores that are comparable to malls in the US, and in some regards, excel the malls in the US due to their live music and extravagant decorations.

In the cities you can also find traditional markets, which are stalls/booths set up along the road in one general location. People can come along and haggle over what they want. In the malls / grocery stores the prices are fixed.

Many of the people in the upper economic bracket prefer the grocery stores / malls over the traditional markets because the foods in traditional markets are not neatly packaged. But for those who lack the resources, the market is an inexpensive route to go.

We go to the traditional market to buy eggs and fruits. We’re not so daring as to purchase meat there, because the chicken, fish, and other meats sit out in the open, exposed to flies. We also don’t know how old the meat is. But then… my neighbor told me, just a few days ago, that if you buy meat that is neatly packaged, like in a grocery store, you don’t know how old it is, and you don’t know how clean it is either. He also informed me that if I really want fresh meat, I need to go to the market where I can watch the fish and chickens be killed and prepared right on the spot. How much fresher can you get than that?!

Below is a video we made of the street markets commonly found in Indonesia.