Sunday, January 20, 2008

Visit To Pike Place Fish Market

On my first visit to Seattle in June 1997, my friends brought me to the Pike Place Market.

The Pike Place Fish Market is strategically located at the main entrance of the Seattle Public Market. The hand-written placards placed all over the stall, the "flying fish" antics of the fishmongers and the shoutfest gives the place a joyful, carnival atmosphere. They make dead fish come alive!

The seafood they sell here could also be found at other fish stalls in the market and elsewhere. Nothing spectacular about that. The stall is brightly lit and there is a wide variety of products, very neatly displayed though. Somehow this stall grabs your attention the moment you enter the market.

As you can see from this picture taken with the staff at the PPFM, they are friendly, gregarious and fun-loving. They will obligingly pose for pictures with anyone who visits the stall. They don't care if you don't buy anything from them after the photo shoot, and even offer you generous portions of their products for free tasting.

The place was "electrifying" not because of what they sell. Its because these guys treat the place as an 'entertainment center'. Every minute when the stall is open for business, its "showtime" and the team puts on their best performance to entertain, make friends and bring laughter to the spectators.

Unlike clowns in the circus, they do not just do funny things to make people laugh.

Its serious business selling fish, but the guys at Pike Place Fish Market do it in a fun way, to give the customers a totally "funky" experience. Not many business people, especially among conservative Asians, would be so bold as to invite their customers to join them in the fun while making a sale.

The "entertainment" factor is what makes Pike Place Fish Market an unforgettable place for visitors, I think.

It is indeed an ordinary business with an extraordinary workplace culture which makes it world famous.

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