It is all excitement and anticipation whenever a street market enters a neighborhood, livening up its mundanity. Cheap and tasty food is always a treat to look forwards to. Goodies, tidbits, gadgets, knick-knacks, clothes, accessories would also be the norm of items on sale. Food and commodities are sold at relatively lower prices, even cheaper than those merchandizing in shop outlets.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the Ramadhan bazaar at Geylang Serai today, especially the food and drink stalls. Rental there could be as high as $20,000 or even more, which is so much more than what a hawker stall is paying! What’s worse is that the rent increases every year!
To tackle the rent, the stalls have no choice but to charge higher prices, or to get cheaper supplies. In fact, some of the food items in today’s Ramadhan bazaar can match up to restaurant prices! For example, a “Rancho Meats” stall offered food from around $10-18. Another stall selling western food has burgers and other mains priced at around $10-30.
Instead of the nostalgic tastes, the bazaar today are filled with stalls who try to be trendy or “instagrammable”, so that even if the taste isn’t so good they can charge insane prices.
In the past, the bazaar was meant for low-income families to earn money, is that even possible now? Especially since the rental for each store is comparable to that of a hawker store?
The Ramadhan bazaar has lost its meaning, we want our traditional street market back!