Shopping in East Ham

April 29th, 2006 | by Charlotte |

Walked to Upton Park Tube station and shopped for food. Bought fresh vegetables to make soup, yoghurt, stock cubes, eggs, tins of beans and Italian tomatoes. East Ham is an exotic place to shop, thanks to all the Africans, Bangladeshis and Muslims who live here. The fish shops stock tilapia. All the butchers shops are halal, Tesco’s supermarket stocks fake pork products such as turkey ham, and the vegetable markets are amazing. I saw what I think might be breadfruit, for the first time, and there are bitter melons, okra and more exotic fruits than you could poke a stick at, though all the mango I’ve tasted here has been hard and under ripe. No wonder Poms go crazy for mangos when they get to Australia.

Markets are noisy places. The costers advertise their wares by shouting things like “Bananas! Oh, bananas!” and all the children join in. They’re also very crowded with prams and rolling shopping bags. No one drives here, so shopping has to be taken back on the bus in rolling shopping bags similar to the one my grandmother used to own.

Heidi, you’d love the hair sections here. Lots of women have braided hair and the supermarkets are full of braiding styling products. The beauticians are all about braiding hair, and people get all sorts of different coloured false hair braiding in with their real hair, which creates blues, purples and orange streaks. All the manicurists do really fancy clear nails covered with artwork.

It’s a 3 day weekend. Tomorrow I’m off to 3 free museums which are right next to each other: the Victorian and Albert Museum (full of strange knick knacks from the 1850s), the Natural History Museum (animatronic dinosaurs) and the Science Museum. James the concierge from Regent Palace called, so I’ll probably meet up with him for dinner afterwards.

Doctor Who Update For Belinda

School Reunion was the best episode so far; the series is really getting back into its stride. Faultless effects, creepy, intelligent villains, and Sarah Jane and K9 were superb.

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