Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The best market ever

Not one of our best, I'll admit. We found it at Caloundra Markets alongside a stall selling translucent wax skulls in a variety of colours. The polite side of me wondered if we should buy one as recompense for the picture. 

Browsing the stalls, I realised something about Shelley that I'd missed before: she doesn't go to markets to buy things, she goes to pronounce loud judgement on other people's small business ideas. ("Well they're not going to be around in a month's time, are they", and "What?! A dog pawtisserie?"). It was like following a steamroller through a field of wine glasses.

What she said was true though. There were lots of bad ideas in that market, the dog pawtisserie being only the worst of them. All those Peruvian pan flautists with electro accompaniment being the next worst, in my book.

But it was precisely what Caloundra Markets lacked that reminded me of another market I'd been to that had it all. The best market ever. It was in Paris, and remains to this day a sad jewel in my crown of regrets.

This market was like a dream. Boxes of old buttons, rusted biscuit tins full of ivory piano keys, black and white photos salvaged from deceased estates, weathered hand-tools that only old people would know the use of. Tables and tables of beautiful, old, treasurey junk—enough to fill a whole square.

But of course, as anyone who has had a nightmare about a market could predict, there was not enough time. We found this square only 20 minutes before we were due to meet friends elsewhere. 20 minutes—that's just enough time to be defeated in a pointless haggle over the price of a nice bottle opener ("C'est une antiquiter! C'est une antiquiter!").

And so, our 20 minutes having expired, I took out my pocket knife and made a blood promise to return to the market later that day. But as way leads onto way, I never did make it back.

Strolling through Caloundra Markets now, fresh from my dark reverie about Paris and how I broke my promise to all that lovely rubbish, I said to Shelley: "I wish people would just get their junk out".

And then we laughed and laughed like immature idiots about me wishing people would get out their junk, and I resolved once more to forget about that market in Paris.

1 comment:

Sweet Olive Press | Helen said...

I have quite a few European market regrets, but not quite so well-rounded as yours. Terrible.