Bourda Market

Bourda Market

Bourda, Guyana – October 26, 2013

If one wants fresh, inexpensive vegetables, Bourda Market is the place to go. Maybe better stated, it is one of the locations. There are many markets throughout Georgetown and the surrounding towns.
Bourda Market is just south of St. George’s Cathedral. It encompasses several city blocks. As best I can tell, only the most adventurous venture into the heart of Bourda Market. A recent newspaper article touts the Bourda Market shop owner on Orange Walk Street that was shot to death this past weekend. Regardless, if one can get past the “rough” nature of the market, this is a very convenient place to purchase fruits and vegetables.
One of the east entry points to Bourda Market draws one into a comfortable, innocuous space that has vendors on either side of the walkway/drive area. Most commonly found in this area are watermelons, pineapples, Guyanese green beans, tomatoes, etc. Continuing west, one encounters Orange Walk street. One of the many canals in Georgetown intersects that street. It is that area that begins to encompass the actual market area.

The Cummings Street entrance to the east side of Bourda Market.Adjacent to the canal and across from the mall is the beginnings of the many small vendor stalls that make up the authentic Bourda Market. For example, I have a watermelon “guy” in the market. One can get a very delicious, albeit small watermelon for G$1,000 (about $5). That may be expensive, but, this is Guyana. On this particular day, after I purchased my two watermelons, the proprietor began playing a game of catch with a helper, reloading the stand with more melons.

A watermelon vendor on the North Road side of Bourda Market.
Looking west along the canal and North Road.
Baskets beside the canal.
Vendor stalls line North Road at Bourda Market.
Some vendor stalls on the north side of the canal.

Throughout the market, there are more items available than just fruits and vegetables. There are shops selling baskets, clothing, books, chicken eggs, meat, etc. If one cannot find it here, one probably does not need it.

Along both Bourda Street and Robb Street, the pedestrian battles directly with motor vehicles. The vehicles are sometimes so close that one is worried about getting “flat” toes from the tires. Often there are just inches to spare. The drivers don’t let this bother them in the least. It is not unusual to see a driver stop, order an item from a vendor, pay for the prize, and then drive on, without ever leaving the driver’s seat.

Congestion on Bourda Street.
Pedestrians on Bourda Street.
Pedestrians and a moped on Bourda Street.
Much more congestion on Robb Street on the south side of Bourda Market.

There are even live chickens and ducks available in the market. Supposedly the owners of the stands will butcher and pluck the chickens purchased from them.

The chickens remain in Orange Walk, in front of the butcher shop.
Close view of chickens for sale on Orange Walk on the east side of Bourda Market.

The final affront to the U. S. senses may come at the public restroom. The door to the women’s side of the toilet (which by the way is standing wide open) has the hand-painted sign proclaiming the following:
Urination $20
Deification $100
Sort of a different twist on pay toilets.
Regardless, I believe it is definitely worth the experience to go to Bourda Market.

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