Market day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue: the center of things in the world (2023)

Have you ever stopped in front of a real estate agency and dreamed of living in a strange place? Bestselling author Mary-Lou Weisman and her husband dare to pursue their dream of living internationally by spontaneously renting a house in the south of France. His experiment is detailed in Mary-Lou's hilarious travel memoir, filled with witty and insightful anecdotes. here is a snippetPlaying House in Provence: How Two Americans Learned a Little French.

It is exactly 8:30 am on a Sunday morning in the medieval cityIsland after Sorgue🇧🇷 The market is now open. Crowds of tourists and locals alike throng the main street and then spill into one of the prettiest villages in Provence, where huge, old-fashioned moss-covered wooden waterwheel wings stir the river and ducks paddle gently. As if that wasn't enough, L'Isle sur la Sorgue (sounds like Leel sur la Sorg) is famous for its block-long open-air market and huge antiques market.

if it is Monday, it is Cadenet; Tuesdays are suitable; the big Wednesday market is in St-Rémy-de-Provence; Is ThursdayAix en Provence🇧🇷 on Fridays,Lourmarin🇧🇷 and Saturday is Uzès. Sunday belongs to L'Isle sur la Sorgue, the largest and richest market in the immediate region.

Market day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue: the center of things in the world (1)

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Rio Little Venice, flea market island in sorghum

Part flea market, part food market, part circus, part social gathering place and part folk festival, markets are the most important aspect of traditional Provencal life and therefore a great way to absorb the culture we seek.

As usual, my husband Larry and I are in the eager crowd. We are addicted to the market and also to a mission. For the past three Septembers, we have rented houses in this area, learned French, shopped at open-air markets, frequented cafes, and tried other ways of life.provencal life🇧🇷 Our goal is to see how we can become French. so far not sointestine.

In open-air markets, some French women still wear authentically French clothing.Over there, straw baskets, with leather handles, although small white recyclable plastic bags are gaining ground. In ecologically sensitive American cities, where plastic bags are no longer available at retail, the FrenchOver theregain a foothold, at least among the pretentious. My first act is to buy one.The wayto which I can't wait to add a baguette. When pretending to be French, accessories are important.

Market day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue: the center of things in the world (2)

To main entrance. Photo: DESMIDT Patrick

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The atmosphere between vendors and customers is festive and friendly. Even when vendors are busy offering free cheese and sausage samples to potential customers, they stop to chat. Products are attractively displayed in ceramic bowls and baskets, on tables and makeshift stands. A giant carbon steel paella pan looks like a still life. Prices are written in pencil or ink on squares of cut-out cardboard, or in chalk on small framed blackboards like the ones French children take to school. Or I'm happy to think they still do. What makes the markets particularly authentic and attractive is that customers are served by the farmers who grow the food they sell.

Modernity inevitably invaded the traditional weekly markets. A reinforced rock band lined up in front of the sausage. In another part of the market square, a woman dressed as a peasant plays her organ “Under the Bridges of Paris”. One gets the feeling that she has been spinning anachronistically for years.

We make our way through the slow-moving crowd. We are primed to buy for the seemingly endless variety, beauty, and presentation. Soaps come in all colors and flavors, including chocolate, that are delicious to eat. Everything attracts us: tea towels, tablecloths, lavender sachets, puppies and piglets in a basket, African masks, olive wood bowls, bouquets of flowers, honey and all sorts of kitsch variations on the cicada theme. In open-air markets, this goggle-eyed beetle is as ubiquitous as a horde of locusts, with which they are entomological relatives. They're everywhere: cicada bags, knockers, lapel pins, salt and pepper shakers, ashtrays, and tea towels. Probably tattoos. Although they are revered in Provence, in China they eat cicadas. The females are more meaty...

(Video) Markets Around the World

Market day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue: the center of things in the world (3)

Market day. Photo: Jean-Louis Zimmermann

In the appliance section of the market, Larry and I fell under the spell of a fast-talking vendor demonstrating a multi-blade vegetable tool that curls cucumbers into spirals, turns radishes into tulips, and slices carrots into confetti. We buy one and go home to try it. Cut the fingers into strips. We must stop trying to acquire all of Provence. We take turns talking about each other's ridiculous purchases. As I stroke the patina of an 18th century shoemaker's bench and ask the dealer how much it would cost to ship it to the United States in a shipping container, Larry knows how to ship it.reality photosreminding myself that we don't have the money for it, and besides, it wouldn't fit in our kitchen. Similarly, Larry may not buy scissors that can cut bamboo. "We don't have bamboo," I remind him.

We let our guard down when we go out to eat. After all, you have to eat. We pause to choose from rows of bright-eyed fish, gill to gill. We buy shiny green, brown and black olives, each color in its own oval basket, each basket coming with its own thick long-handled wooden spoon. We took a bit of each, counted coins, and moved on to the pies, sausages, cheeses, fruit, salads, and delicious tiny strawberries, so fresh and unlike their steroidal American cousins ​​that go moldy in an instant. day, Provencal berries remain fresh and juicy for at least a week.

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Market day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue: the center of things in the world (4)

Photo: Marianne Casamance

The market is a great place to practice our French. Larry becomes a regular atHappy BirthdayBooth, this is where they sell your favorite food group, fat. Since he can't afford foie gras, he makes do with it.Happy Birthday, fried duck skin. It elicits a grateful smile from the seller, followed by a ritual exchange.
Good dayhe saysGrattonMann. „How are you🇧🇷 (How are you?)
Good dayLars said, "How are you?
A handful for a gentleman?
Please,' Larry replies.
The vendor takes a handful and puts them in a paper bag.
Until next time' the seller calls us. (Until next time.)
Until next timeLarry calls again.
We smile and wave as if we were saying goodbye to a good friend.

These are the moments we live for; Conversations, however trivial, in real situations with real French people who don't know us and who might even think we are French, at least for a fraction of a second. During the remainder of the market tour, Larry will launch aGrattonin your mouth, one at a time, like peanut M&Ms. I'll keep quiet, but I think the quadruple bypass.

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Market day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue: the center of things in the world (5)After months of visiting the market in L'Isle sur la Sorgue, we know what to do. Suppliers are familiar to us and we to them. We salute the woman who sells hummus nearbyPharmacy🇧🇷 It is she who explains to me that the word is for a plastic containera boxan all-purpose French word meaning container, tin, and box. we recognize thembookcase, which deals with used French books. We often browse there looking for written material that we can understand. We know who has the best cheese. We know that the fried chicken that is sold near the church is not as good as it seems. We even see the monster of the city, addressing passers-by with bursts of Tourette's that we can't translate at first. Now that we've learned a little more French slang, we no longer smile sweetly at him when he tells us: "clear- "Fuck this."

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1. Marché d'Uzès en mars 2022 / un petit voyage en Occitanie au début du printemps / weekend shopping
(quatre saisons〜カトル・セゾン〜)
2. Driving Into Gordes, France (Lubéron)
3. 7 days in Provence, France
(WOW Tours)
4. An easter market in Schönbrunn Palace (Vienna, Austria)
(Tomasz Jakub Kusienicki)
5. Market in Aix-en-Provence
(William Crow)
6. Aix en Provence France


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