Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fields of Green.

I've recently been writing mostly about differences. Differences because we see similarity every single day in our lives when we are situated in a country such as Canada. Writing about the similarities would show no cultural diversity, and seem useless of one to do.

And so, while Canada is a green country, Montenegro in many ways is much more green. Not just economically, but also in the fact that nearly everyone in a non-concrete jungle city has a huge garden or fields and tends to grow a lot of their own food and crops. Even those in apartment buildings have flowers and small potted plants creeping along their windowsills and balconies.

So, with a large house and an even bigger two level yard, we have crops, trees, plants, bushes, and roots galore. The entirety of the land is covered inch by inch of used soil and fertilizer. Olive trees, pomegranate trees, fig trees, palm trees, apricot trees, tangerine trees, orange trees, mandarin trees, peach trees, lemon trees, and cherry trees can be found in the vicinity of my two houses here. Grape vines, watermelons, tomatoes, onions, squash, peppers, string beans, radishes, potatoes, carrots, parsley, and various sorts of green leafy vegetables and cabbages.

The rule here is, if you want to eat it and you can grow it, you should. In fact, most people grow as much as possible of something and then sell large quantiteies of their fresh goods and produce at an outdoor or indoor market called a pijaca (a plaza of sorts, pronounced PEA-YAH-TSUH). Whatever doesn't grow in your garden, you buy from there and continue on with your life. Most grocery stores don't stock produce for this reason, unless they're a green produce store and specify in this field of work.

In fact, you can find anything home made/grown/cultivated at the pijaca. Anything from cheese, milk, milk products, breads and pastries, eggs, fish, ducklings, little chickens, and other meat. While there still is butcher's stores and bakeries, the majority of people's earnings here are from something material to sell that they have aided in the process of creating.

The people are also extremely friendly, and you can easily barter prices, get deals and bargains, buy bulk, sample, and make a lot of new aquaintances and connections. In a way, the experience is a lot more fulfilling than walking to your local Superstore or Save On Foods (or driving, even worse) and picking up a carton of eggs and a pack of carrots with little to no inter-action and no social time whatsoever. I wonder if there's anything like a pijaca in Canada...?

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