Right in the heart of the city, you can buy just about anything, from live puppies to rainforest solutions to your impotency problem, from wild honey to – alas – shells and corals stolen from the country’s natural heritage (or possibly from the Philippines’ natural heritage), from tortoises (yes, they are tortoises, not turtles, you Americans out there – they have legs, not flippers, damn it!), to clothing and sumptious food.
Bottles of bee honey – many of the insects used are not at all like the honey bee. Wood, bark, fungi, lichens, roots, leaves – everything seems to have medicinal value – a lot of it aimed at enhancing sexual function (men really do have a problem, don’t they…) Funny thing is this: the buyers all seem to think that because a product is “natural” it’s got to be good for you. Hmm. Have they never heard of hemlock or similar? They happily take untested produce on the say-so of a stranger telling them it’s “traditional medicine”. Yeah, right. They are braver men than me.
Check out those lovely woven dishes and containers.