Today Wednesday morning is Tamu (market) at Tamparuli which I went with my mother and sister to buy groceries. Tamu Tamparuli is very special to us because this is the town or main place where we usually shopped our groceries (supplies) went we stayed at mama village before we rode on the public transport and head for mama village. Of course, mama had many memories here in her young days and she feels very much at home here happily chatting away with her native tongue. Although, she was tired today as she just returned here from Kuala Lumpur (also home) late last night, I think she looks happy and radiant today when we were in Tamu Tamparuli. Yup, I knew it once she went back to Kuala Lumpur after her returned, there will be lots of complaint regarding the housekeeping in Kuala Lumpur non-stop today. At least, Tamu Tamparuli provided some distraction and my ears can have some rest. If you are lucky, early in the morning occasionally you can hear the traditional instrument 'gong' sound welcoming you to Tamu Tamparuli.
Compared to Tamu Tuaran, almost of the plant produce stall here at Tamu Tamparuli are directly from farmers and not middlemen. So, you really have to come early because some of the produce from the farmers will be bought by middlemen to sell at other market near city. My mother was looking for jicama (Yam bean) and carrots but none of the stall have them anymore because it was apparently hot item of the day all bought by middleman according to the farmers. Although the Kundasang region in Sabah is popular with growing vegetables like Cameron Highland at Peninsular Malaysia, the locals now not preferring to buy Kundasang vegetables anymore due several cases of vomitting or food poisoning suspecting of high usage of pesticide being sprayed at vegetables growing at Kundasang. Therefore, people prefer to buy vegetables from other places came from small farmers as they usually grow organic food. Because local people is not interested in buying Kudasang vegetables, middlemen will come to Tamu like this as early as possible in the morning to buy from small farmers that came from rural areas.
Not all Tamu produce is the same, you might not find some produce in another Tamu. To me, different Tamu in Sabah is unique especially Sabah is well-known to live harmoniously with different ethnics. As you can see Tamparuli Tamu is rather simple, mostly all the wares are just line up on a simple mat on the floor. Some farmers travel very far from the rural area using public transportation, so they can't bring that many item with them so just a mat will suffice.
My aunt/mama younger sister too sometime when she has some excess harvest from her garden, she will also come here and sells her harvest. For example, photo above is actually two farmers, on the right a lady selling bananas and on the right a couple selling pineapples, gingers, lemon grasses, pumpkins and ect. My mother purchased two heirloom pumpkins for Abby and two pineapples for Abby grandfather. See how fresh the pineapples look.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a familiar face I have not seen for more than 4 years. My eldest son Ilhan first babysitter Nancy was there in the Tamu Tamparuli and selling some harvest from her garden. She stayed with us when I was working in Johor, helping me look after Ilhan when he was from 3 months old until before we left for Australia. Nancy was about 18 years old when she stayed with us. Now she has one daughter and a rubber tapper. For Ilhan, I took Nancy photo together with my mother carrying Abby.
Tamparuli is not only famous for its Tamu but Tamparuli hanging bridge is also well-known in Malaysia. It is one of the most famous hanging bridge in Sabah. Please make sure your visit Sabah travel itinerary to Tamparuli bridge is on Wednesday morning so you can also spend a little time at Tamu Tamparuli.
Some of the items that we bought this morning at Tamu Tamparuli (this is only 20%). The brown fruit and black mushroom is something new to me today. The reason I like spending my time in Tamu is that there is always something new to learn each visit.
This is Sabah heirloom pepper, in my mother native language it is known as Cili Tapurak (did I spell or hear it correctly?), common at Tamu here.