Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Come Shopping With Us

Perhaps I should have entitled this "This little piggy went to market" - that is just how I feel when I go to the markets in France - I want to buy everything - well - ok, not the dried fish, or the dead bunnies, or the funky shoes; but all the breads, a thousand or so cheeses would fit nicely into my shopping suitcase along with the hand-milled soaps, etc. While I am back in the States struggling to lose ten pounds before I get back to France, I am dreaming of the markets there. Breads, cheeses, dried fruits that taste like candy, exotic mushrooms, meat from animals that I would never consider eating, chickens – dead with heads on, and alive with exotic feathers. There is clothing – all sorts of clothing from the sublime to the ridiculous, shoes, suits, blankets, cloth, curtains, and always the unusual find – bathroom cups made out of animal horn from Africa, handmade quilts, art, and occasionally antiques. There are specific markets – the chicken market in Louhans, the cattle market near Chablis; the Captain won’t take me to the cattle market because he realized the very real danger that I would try to sneak a baby cow back to the boat. But perhaps the most fun at the market is the people watching – vendors and shoppers alike.

Of these photos, one of my favorites is the two ladies, all dressed up at the market in Chalon-sur-Saone, who look like they are enjoying a bit of gossip or perhaps a recipe. Don't be confused by the man and the boar as to which is which; the flowers in the photo are all fake; and at every market there should be a happy ending!