This is one of the places I drag interstate and overseas visitors to. I remember it from the time I was in high school, when the dominant cultural influences in South Australia, other than Anglo-Celtic, were German (a huge influence in SA since early settlement, when the state, founded by idealists, was a haven for religious refugees) plus Italian and Greek, by far the two biggest ethnic groups to end up in Adelaide in the postwar wave of immigration.
The Central Market in those days was where you went for imported groceries. There was an ornately fronted continental-cake shop run by a Viennese woman with whom our German teacher had an arrangement: every now and then for our German lesson we'd walk down to the market from school, which was less than 100 metres up the street, and buy a cake each. We had to ask for it in perfect, polite German before she'd hand it over.
It's got bigger and bigger over the years. Adelaide's Chinatown now kind of melts into it. There's a stall that sells Russian food. People queue up in droves to buy Asian greens. You can buy artisanal cheeses from the Adelaide Hills, or really seriously stinky cheeses from France at $86 per kilo. You can buy everything from bottom-of-the-range mega-shoddy mass produced statuettes of Ganesh the Elephant God to black pearls and unique gold jewellery of great beauty. You can buy fresh roast turkey and cranberry sauce baguettes, that morning's field mushrooms, corn-fed chicken, organic beef, giant chocolate crackles and still-warm wood-oven bread. The noise is overwhelming. The smell is fabulous.
Part of the car park is an old warehouse ...
... and when you get out of the lift, you see this.
These are the people with the gold, but their amber is even better.
I wonder where they keep the Mundane Fruit and Veg, and what it is. Parsnips, chokos and cabbage?