To market, to market

I have to admit, having the sun rise at 4.30am makes leaving the house "at the crack of dawn" a lot easier - it's the illusion that you're out at an acceptable time. After having failed the day before, we made sure we stayed up all night this time through some strategic cooking and movie-watching slots so by 4.45am, we were raring to go, even if it was only so that we could come home for some much needed shut-eye.

Billingsgate Market
Trafalgar Way
E14 5ST

Opening times:
Tuesday to Saturday, 5am - 8.30am

"We have to compete with the restauranteurs from Chinatown"

The streets were still quiet and the buses seem to only be filled with people who were heading in the same direction. As we drew closer, there was the unmistakable smell of the sea but I was promised that the market would be nothing like the wet markets we're accustomed to back home. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness and order amidst the morning hustle and bustle - boxes of seafood, fishmongers in huge white aprons and the sound of chatter. What struck me as most surprising was how accomodating and nice the fishmongers were despite the busyness of the market.

"Should be just take a whole box?"

One cannot help but be drawn into the scene and before we knew it, we were wide awake trying to decide on what we wanted to bring home with us. Choices are tough when aside from the usual fish, you've got mountains of different types of crabs, oddly coloured fish, enormous eels and shellfish of all shapes and sizes on display.

4 kilos of fish, 2 kilos of squid, 2 kilos of prawns and a bucket of oysters later, we hopped onto the bus home - content. Who would have thought, us, feeling completely at ease in a fish market at that hour.

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