For full effect, you absolutely must (without question) hit play on the audio clip below – trust!

[haiku url="http://www.thecuisinerd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Footscray-Vietnamese-Market-Edit.mp3" title="Footscray Little Saigon Market"]

One of the most memorable moments of my Australian adventure was visiting the Footscray Little Saigon Market. I thought I was fully prepared, excited and anticipating the loud yelling,  haggling, banging, the confusing, the amazing...and yet... I was not at all prepared for what I actually did experience. The freshest produce and sea food I've ever seen. Large vats of live eels and yabbies.  Stacks of herbs and cured salty fish. Fresh soba, udon and ramen noodles. Everything beyond amazing.

The aroma of the large hanger was intense. One moment it was salt water and sea food...the next, fragrant dragon fruit and mangos. My eyes were overwhelmed as were my ears - the loud yelling was really loud and disorientating: MangoMangoMangoMangoMangoMango!!!! Vendors were jumping in front of you banging knives on plates to partake in the day's fresh samples. Large rolling flats of produce and fish were being rotated around the thick crowds, meanwhile the floor was sticky, slippery and ready for a ankle-twisting fall.

Chaos and all kinds of magical! Amidst the madness, all I wanted to focus on was soaking up every detail, every vendor's face,  every sound of hustling and the  smells of soft shell crabs I could cram into my brain catalog. The fact that my local friend gets to shop here on a weekly basis makes the usual trip to Trader Joe's seem just....well, pedestrian and boring. You lucky, lucky lady.