A guy was selling chunks of jackfruit from his wheelbarrow so we got some to munch on. It was my first time eating jackfruit. It’s this giant greenish fruit (the size of a large watermelon, only slightly more oblong) covered in spines. You cut into it and it has flesh the color of a pumpkin. You peel out pieces to eat, the texture of a firm peach, avoiding the big black seeds, and eat. Its sweet and slightly bready. I really enjoyed it.
We had a fun time walking around and discovering parts of the market we hadn’t seen before. We ended up in a back part and found a (smelly) meat market. There are generally skinned animals hanging from hooks and when you want a piece the butcher hacks off the part you want. But here there were also tables filled with offal. I recognized brains, tripe (stomach), liver. But there were parts that I have definitely never seen before. There was this flat bit that looked a bit like stomach except that it was jet black; it looked as though it had been soaked in ink. I tried to ask the guy what part it was, but he didn’t really answer my question. Just tossed piles of brain on the table and asked if I wanted to buy some. No. Thank you.
We also came across these cool looking rings that had been carved from bone. But as we looked at them I realized that on the table were also small piles of teeth, animal teeth, and other things that looked like charms. We asked the guy and he confirmed that it was stuff for witch doctors. We said, oh, we’re not witch doctors so we can’t buy the rings. He said we still could and we were like no, but they mean something, don’t they? He said “You don’t want them to have meaning? No, no, don’t buy.” ‘Twas interesting.
Found some Sudanese dates and spices. Was greeted (as always) by an enthusiastic sunglasses-vendor who opens his arms and says “Ohhhh! White people!” every time I’ve been to the market.
A fun time. It’s unfortunate that I can’t really take pictures. I sort of can technically, but people in Juba are really touchy about having their picture taken and police have been known to confiscate and destroy cameras. Its understandable. Its a generation that grew up in a war and I respect that they don’t want to be exploited or photographed anymore than they already have been. Plus this is a city full of NGOs and people on short contracts, lots of foreigners who can be camera happy, I get it. So even though I’m not great at taking pictures anyway, there will be even less pictures here and on facebook during my time in Juba.