Sakura shrimps auction 櫻花蝦拍賣

livinguktaiwan
LivingUKTaiwan @livinguktaiwanMarch 2019 · 4 min read

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I went for a seafood lunch at Dong Gang, at the south of Taiwan the other day. As I was walking back to the car park I noticed a lot of noise by the harbour. Being the nosey me, I went over to explore and was thrilled to find out it was a sakura shrimps auction market.

從屏東東港魚港吃完午飯到停車場取車,突然聽到碼頭旁很人聲鼎沸。 好奇心驅使下去看過究竟,原來是海鮮拍賣市場。 主角是像小仙子的櫻花蝦。


The buzz was so exhilarating and everything was happening so fast. Workers moving crates around, buyers inspecting the goods, people having a good old banter with one another, and onlookers like me anxiously trying to get a glimpse of things but mindful to stay out of way. It took me a while to figure out what was happening.



SAKURA SHRIMPS AUCTION


Sakura shrimps are the stars at the market. These are small pink translucent shrimps about 4 to 5 cm long. This is the first time I've seen so many fresh ones. People normally buy dried sakura shrimps and use them to make a soup base or stir fry with vegetables. Although I'd just finished lunch, so many sakura shrimp dishes were already bouncing around my head as the market filled with its lovely aroma.

Back to the sakura shrimps auction. Sellers bring their produce to the market on big trolleys. The trolleys are towed on the back of a motor cycle with the driver just sitting on the handle. Two or three workers sits on the trolley with shrimps. Without sounding rude. I think this is one job where you need a strong bum.



GETTING READY


The crates are loaded off the trolley and then weighed. The shrimps are sold in standard weight crates. Don't ask me how heavy. This isn't meant to be a tourist attraction. People are here to make a living, not to be nice to tourists. So, one thing I've learnt is never interfere with the flow of an auction.

Once the crates are weighed, they are placed to one side waiting for their turn to be auctioned.

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AUCTION TIME


Suddenly it's auction time. Workers quickly put pairs of wood on the floor and the crates are placed on top. The beautiful pink sakura shrimps are put on display ready to be auctioned.



Bidders scoop up a handful of shrimps for a good look, not sure what they're looking for. Probably colour and freshness. Then there's a bit of shouting and banter going on. Some write their bid on a small bit of paper and place it on top of the shrimps.

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Within seconds, the auctioneer picks up all the bits of paper and there's a bit more shouting. And that's it. The lot is sold within a couple of minutes. The workers quickly collects all the crates and loads them back onto another trolley. I couldn't believe it was happening right in front of me and I had no idea who the buyer was.



This process kept on happening, smoothly and systematically like a clockwork. Every time someone cleared the crates off the ground, someone else placed a new lot behind them. And a new round of sakura shrimps auction starts again.


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A GREAT AFTERNOON

I lingered around for half an hour watching in awe of the dynamics that filled this little area. People were coming and going all the time, and every time I turned around another scooter and trolley zoomed past me. Slowly I left the sakura shrimps auction market and walked back to my car. That was an after lunch experience better than I could have ever hoped for.


從屏東東港魚港吃完午飯到停車場取車,突然聽到碼頭旁很人聲鼎沸。 好奇心驅使下去看過究竟,原來是海鮮拍賣市場。 主角是像小仙子的櫻花蝦。

賣家拖著一車子的櫻花蝦到市場去,拖車上還坐上兩三位工人。看來當這個機車司機,屁股少一點力量也不行。

拍賣市場很熱鬧,車來人往,每一個人都有自己的崗位。包括不少像我們的遊人,都乖乖站在一旁,不要阻礙運作。司機把一車蝦子送到市場後,工人馬上搬到一旁,然後賣家一盤盤的秤重量。我覺得拍賣的應該是統一的重量, 但不要問我多重。以我旅遊經驗,拍賣市場尤其不是觀光的,是人家謀生的地方,只看不要問,最好不要打擾人家。

我看了一陣子,終於了解拍賣過程如何運作。工人先把一雙雙木條放在地上,然後小心翼翼把一盤盤秤了重量的櫻花蝦放到上面。拍賣要開始了。買家們和市場的工作人員友善地在互相喊叫,不知喊甚麼。可能在講台語,又可能是拍賣場的術語,總之就是聽不懂,但很熱鬧。投標前買家先驗貨,一手抓櫻花蝦看,大概看色澤看新鮮吧。標價寫在一塊小紙張後,放到盤子上。整個過程不到兩分鐘就完成,工人馬上搬走一盤盤的櫻花蝦。但買家是誰呀?怎麼在我眼前我也看不到?實在太厲害喔!

原本是一頓平平無奇的午餐,在機緣巧合下遇上看到有趣的櫻花蝦拍賣。這半小時實在讓我大開眼界。


Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://livinguktaiwan.com/sakura-shrimp-auction/

Check out all my travel posts here on Steemit Worldmap, and also my latest project @LadiesOfAsia where we share fun and cultural diversity across Asia Pacific.


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