Things that came home with us;
A brightly colored tablecloth, two tiles with vibrant flowers, a wooden toy for Lauris, a glazed flowerpot to hold our orchid,, “The Cat in the Hat Dictionary in French.”
Things that almost came home with us;
Giant ceramic platter in the shape of a fish.
Not much is open on a Sunday in
. The occasional bakery or café, and the marché aux puces. Yet year round, rain or shine, on Sunday mornings the Place Gambetta and Place Salins fill up with vendors. From big trailers to tiny little hatchbacks, from items laid out on the ground to large displays, there are bargains to be had and junk (or treasure) to be bought! Clermont-Ferrand
The variety of vendors is the draw in this flea market. There is a man selling geodes he probably found himself, and an old woman selling her jams. At least half a dozen tables are selling every cell phone, computer,
GPS and other charger that has ever been made. Antique books, comic books, children’s books; all kinds of books and all in French. Accessories and clothes, jewelry for your toes, the African art and the wine push-cart; vases, bowls, perfume and trolls, tarnished silverware and shoes without a pair! On one end there are a few food vendors; potatoes and carrots possibly dug up the previous day, mussels, locally-produced honey. Hungry now? Why not buy a big plate of sausage or truffade, cooked up on the spot, in pans a meter across. On the other end you can find brand new knives, postcards from , collectible John Deere tractors and old toolboxes filled with unidentifiable metal chunks. Venice
Flea markets aren’t for everyone, but most of my family are fans. In the States garage sales are abundant in the spring, consignment sales are a newer thing and there are even online classifieds like craigslist.org that specialize in gently used stuff. Roberts likes the occasional garage sale where he can rifle through old fishing lures. Years ago in
, he deviated from lures, buying a white tux with tails from, as his business card proclaimed, “the junk man.” And me, I keep hoping to find that perfect painting, that funky old necklace or maybe just a little comfort in something that reminds me of home. Georgia
Of course there is also plenty of junk; useless tchotchkes that are the trademark of all flea markets. But the marché is full of shoppers, sellers, treasure-seekers, tourists and families out for a stroll. And all of them – bargain hunters and negotiators. Final verdict – thumbs up. Something for everyone, if you don’t come for the junk, come for the atmosphere!