Saturday is market day in Paris. It seems like everyone comes out to shop. We hit the Marche St. Quentin first thing this morning and then after a petit dejeuner made our way to a open air market under the el train at Barbes Rouchechouart. It’s quite an experience as this is not the pristine open air market like that on Rue Cler. If you shut your eyes and listened to the barkers and took in the smells, you might think your were in Morocco rather than Paris.
Shopping for food in these types of markets is a free-for-all. The produce and meats are fantastic…fresh and plentiful. The spices are amazing — I have no idea what most of them are.
The prices are much better here than in the super marche or the permanent, enclosed markets like that at St. Quentin. The crowds are staggering, however. It helps to top six feet because you can see over everything and everyone! John and I learned to trek down the middle of the mass of people in the market’s thoroughfare and veer to the left or right when we saw something that interested us.
One caution…stay clear of little, old ladies pulling shopping carts. They may look like your grandmother, but they will mow you down in a heartbeat if you get in their way. These ladies are SERIOUS shoppers. They are on a mission and NOTHING stands in their way — not even very large Americans.
Shopping carts come in all colors and designs — kind of personal like your cell phone or purse. My favorite one out of the hundreds that I’ve seen so far in and around Paris is this one made of wicker like a basket. An elderly Asian woman cut me off on her way to buy vegetables this morning. I was so taken by the unique shopping cart I didn’t even mind that she almost took me out at the knees.