Where to get a pack of beef balls for 5,000 rupiah (RM1.50)? More than 20 pieces of mini balls. The ubiquitous Bakso hawkers are ever in Indonesia. There are hawking their food in push carts, motorized and non-motorized tricycles.
When you stopped by a small town, and want to quickly get to know the populace go to their markets. This will be the first place to survey for the standard of living and quality of life. Go to their central and the subsidiary ones. The more the merrier.
Commercial transactions among the common folks shows their town's vitality. So check their household items. Is there a wide range? Round up on the varieties available and the price band.
We visited the central market and took a look at the meat market, the fish mongers, vegetables and tubers and the dry stuffs. Also check out the peripheral of the market. It will have the black and the white stores. Illegals and legals are part of the equation in any economy.
If demand is robust and matched by the ability of the trades to match it with supply then the town is healthy and likely to have more space for new products as well as more brands of the similar ones.