Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, June 12, 2008

France 2008 - Arles, May 17

Saturday, we went to the market. It was advertised right on the map of Arles, that they had a market every Saturday and Wednesday so we decided to see what there was to see. Wow! All along the Boul. des Lices was a market and the traffic was stopped. (This is part of the "ring road" that goes around Old Arles on the sides away from the river. It's all one big road but is broken into three different names.) On one side was all the food stuff and on the other side was everything else.

To have a great look at the market, go to Peter's set at Flickr and enjoy. The food side was especially impressive, with large vans where the sides opened up to vans where things were being cooked right in front of you, in one case, on giant wok-like surfaces.

We have been having breakfast at the hotel and enjoying it but thought we should try something different. On the way to the market, we stopped in the Place du Forum (where VIncent's cafe is and where we stop a lot) and had a cafe and a croissant. When you ask for a cafe you get an espresso. For any other kind of coffee, you have to specify. The shop with the cafe didn't have anything to eat but referred us two doors down to the bakery where we bought something and then went back to the cafe to eat it.

By the time we got to the market, it had been open for some time and the place was packed. But real Arlesiennes were doing their shopping and while busy, people were in constant motion so it was easy enough to wander around. So much wonderful looking food! I got hungry right away and so we stopped at different places to buy a bag of cherries, half a baguette and some soft cheese. We stepped away from the steady stream of patrons and sat on a half wall and ate our finds. Mmm.
Outfits I made that I wore in France
The other side of the street had everything but food, including a young man with three miniature goats who wasn't selling them but just using them as a draw to get you to buy outrageously priced candy to support some cause. Near the end of the line were some folks selling Provencal fabrics. I bought a few meters but worried that it wasn't "authentic". On the other hand, it was nice so who cares?

I have noticed that there seems to be a hierarchy of greeting. If you don't know someone but are introduced by someone you both know, you shake hands. If you know the person and have seen them recently, you kiss each other twice. But if you know someone and haven't seen them for a while, you kiss each other three times. This is just a theory on my part, but I like it.

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