To Market, To Market


To buy a fat pig.

Or a five euro glass box.

Which I tried to barter down from 7 euro to quinze Euro.

The man in the stall did a double take, laughed, patted my arm, pulled his wife over, showed her the box told her I wanted to buy it for quinze instead of cinque, cue me blushing, having realized I asked for a higher price rather than a lower.

Ah, French.

How do I love thee, let me count the nouns.

I also just discovered the difference between the noun “baiser” and the verb  “baiser”.

One means a kiss.

The other, in slang, means to fuck.

Well, no wonder all French men think us American gals are all for the having sex non-stop.

“No, monsieur, just kiss me.”

Uh huh.


Well, I did get it for the reduced price and I actually had a very cute and charming conversation with the vendor.  I told his wife I knew I spoke French like a Spanish cow, her husband doubled over, first time I have heard a French person belly laugh, tears standing in his eyes.

I was on a roll and explained at least it was better than the mistake I made a few months back when I first arrived here and said “no, I don’t need a sack, I am a sack.”

At this point, I believe if the wife had not been present, he might have just given me the box, he was laughing so hard.

Glad to know we can all laugh at me, most of all myself.

I do have a tendency to take myself too damn seriously anyhow.

I actually did quite well today at the flea market.

I was thrilled, too, to not have to go out to Cliangcourt to get my flea market fix, which was most likely swamped, as today was the first deliriously real day of Spring, I actually chose to walk on the shaded side of the street at one point, I went instead to Square D’Anvers, just a few blocks away from where I live.

Last night as I was returning from the baby sitting gig (which earned me the money for the few little splurges I got) I noticed the stalls being set up and the flyers posted around the square for “Brocante Soldes.”



It was actually a really big market, I was surprised by how much of the street it ended up encompassing.  I walked through it twice.  The first time to get a lay of the stalls and what was being offered.  The second time to make my purchases.

All of which I talked down from the original price.

I may not be able to speak French as well as I imagine I do, and I do imagine it–I find myself thinking in French more and more often which is kind of crazy–but I do know how to barter.

I also know when I am being snookered.

I refused to pay for the price of a pair of bib overalls that a woman was selling in her stall.

Partially because I found it astoundingly rude to be hollered at from the cafe table across the way.  Lady, get off your ass and make the sale, put the cigarette down, leave the wine, and man your stall.  No, I don’t think I want to buy from you anyhow.

They are my current obsession, bib overalls.

I have no idea why, but I want a pair.

I do need a new pair of jeans, my last pair from the states died.

Bicycle riding will do that.

They did last longer than I thought they would, but the last bike ride out they died.  And no new jeans.  I find that I have looked a little for new jeans but I am finding it difficult to shop.  I am not much of a shopper any how, oh, I would be, I am sure, if I had more money to spend, but I am not much for just going and trying stuff on.

I still don’t see my body very clearly and despite having tried on clothes since I lost the weight, over two years ago now, I find myself either going for things that are too small or too big, getting discouraged, and giving up.

Plus, despite being smaller than the last time I was here in Paris four years ago, I do still have a bigger frame than the majority of woman here, except for the African immigrants.

French woman are just tiny naturally, shorter, in leg and torso, and thin.

I am none of the above.

Now, I love my body, it’s strong, and much healthier than it was for years and years, but finding clothing that works well for me has never been quite my forte.

Hence the lure of the accessory.

I found my Paris earrings!

Five euro.

Pink plastic hearts.

I also found a wood bead and fabric necklace for five euros.  It had been originally been 25 Euro, not sure how I got it for five and I scampered away before the madame could change her mind.  I knew I had made a great score when a few stalls down when I stopped to look at some beautiful vintage hats and gloves (way out of my range even with barter skills) the woman in the stall approached me and complimented me on the necklace asking what country I was from and where I got the necklace.

When I told her, ici, here, she was quite surprised.

I was thrilled and told her thank you and that she had a lovely stall, more expensive than I could afford, but so pretty.  She thanked me, we talked about my tattoos and I slowly drifted off to the next stall.

I got a lot of attention for the tattoos.

The weather, ah, oh, ooooooh, the sun, it came out today.

And off with the jacket, the scarf, and the layers.

I showed more skin today than I have in months.

I was not openly harassed, though, just admired and it was a pleasant experience.  I told my friend today at the park, as we sat in the sunshine and admired the green leaves unfurling, that I often had men, mostly, approach me, and touch me, then ask after the tattoos, the last time I came to Paris.

It was a disconcerting experience then, my French much more rusty than it is currently, despite making mistakes still, which I will, I am sure, make more of.

I don’t put up with the touching now at all.

It won’t be an issue for the next few days anyhow, I will be covered up again.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain, but I got out today, walking, wandering, bartering, speaking my poor French and soaking up the sun.  I don’t even care that I made an ass of myself.

If I can’t laugh at me then I am taking myself too damn seriously.

And I am not that French.

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2 Responses to “To Market, To Market”

  1. Secondhand Surfer Says:

    Have you ever read, Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedar?

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