The township of Pangkalan Kerinci (or Kerinci, as the locals call it) reminded me of Ashburton or Milton (in New Zealand) in that it consisted of one main street. All the businesses lining that one street (for a couple of kilometres?). About the size of Milton. Not a small village. My friend did some grocery shopping here, but also every so often would go to Pekanbaru on a main shopping expedition. Most of the businesses were in concrete box rows, a couple of stories high, set well off the street. Although the main road was tarsealed, other roads weren’t, so it was still a dusty looking place. Busy. Lots of traffic, including bicycles.
There is a daily traditional market…fruit, veges, spices, dried fish of all kinds, clothes & goods (including your fairly regular Chinese imports)…and wet market. The wet market consists of big plastic bins of live fish, freshly butchered meat, cages of live chickens and butchered ones on the benches above. You have to negotiate the open drains in between the stalls, some of which are boarded over, the smells, mud and the heat. I started out taking photos, but fairly quickly put my camera away after more and more people wanted their photo taken.
It’s a well set out market, the fruit and veges looked great (and if you got there early enough in the morning, I’m sure the meat and fish would have been okay too). My friend had been learning Indonesian over the past year and a half, and could bargain for goods at the market, otherwise the stall holders punched numbers into a calculator and showed us the result.