Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ahetze Flea Market

Sofia and I have been in San Sebastian for the past week. Lot's of family, food and walking on the beach. This morning a few of us decided to get up at the crack of dawn and shoot over to France for the monthly flea market in Ahetze - just 15 minutes northeast of St. Jean de Luz. Filled with over 200 vendors this market was a true vide grenier - the vendors had literally cleaned out their attics! The four of us split up and covered the whole market in about an hour or so - the prices were great and the selection was pretty good. Plenty of old linens, enamel and china - some old garden furniture, clothing and pottery.
My first conversation with a vendor who had piles of hemp sheets and towels went something like this:

Me: bonjour!
Monsieur: bonjour, comment allez-vous?
Me: bien - parlez vous anglais? (my lame Spanish and lame French mix well on the border towns)
Monsieur: un peu
Me: great - combien por la torchon?
Monsieur: oh, these torchons are very old, very rare
Me: ok - how much?
Monsieur: well, maybe 5 euros each
Me: ok
Monsieur: ok - not that much, I kid with you
Me: ok - so they're more?
Monsieur: no, no maybe 3 euros each
Me: great
Monsieur: how many do you want?
Me: all of them
Monsieur: mais qui - then they are 2 euros each
Me: even better
Monsieur: ok 10 torchons at 2 euros each is 20 euros
Me: ok - here you go (handing over the 20 euros)
Monsieur: no, no I charge too much - 10 euros total
Me: if you say so

And on and on our "dealing" went - until I almost walked away with a load of torchons for nothing. This was a very strange deal - I have never had the dealer give me back change after the final price. By the end of the morning I had bought almost all of his linens - I just couldn't pass up his deals - a few breakfast bowls, a couple of old floral prints and a an old red transferware tea set and I was good to go! I love the vendors at the markets in France - they are in it for the game and they love the deal.

Another week in San Sebastian and then I am off to Toulouse to meet up with 16 women who have decided to spend a week in France with me - our long-awaited Chateau Getaway happens the week of July 4th through the 11th at Chateau Dumas. A week of field trips and craft workshops, including a day of woad dying, a visit to an old hat factory, and a craft bag filled with everything from jewelry kits, needle felting, and fabric millinery flowers. Can't wait!


Cottage Way of Life said...

It sounds like you are having a grand time and I look forward to hearing more about your adventures.

Mary's Cottage Quilts said...

Sounds just wonderful! Even with the lame "franish" you were speaking - sounds like you got some great stuff!

Tanya said...

The flea market sounds so fun! I would love to see more pictures so that I can drool with envy. ha ha

Elaine from L.A. said...

Sigh, wish I could be there,too :~) Avez vous un bon temps :~)

somepinkflowers said...

i bargain like that, too



i usually get what i want
At A Price...

jade said...

hey kaari! just popped over to check out your blog and keep up with your travels. i'm going to live vicariously through you this summer if you don't mind. and oh, what i'd give to join you in july!

sounds like you are having a wonderful time. cheers!

jade (craft hope)

Denise said...

are you TRYING to make me cry??? :) I hope you bring these treasures to your new shop on the east side. have fun!!! PS I thought I was the only one who combined French and Spanish while in France! I'm actually relieved to hear it's not just me. funny how they get tangled in your brain.

Susan said...

i think i just passed out here at my desk for a moment. I can't believe your wonderful experience at the flea market. thank you for sharing all that great news!! i'm having my summer vacation thru you right now!! have a magnificent time and i can't wait to one day join you for that France trip!!

Lee Weber said...

this sounds heavenly!

paperbird said...

It sounds so fabulous. I am so envious :)

becky up the hill said...

All I can do is is be thankful you write about these wonderful experinces. It truly is my dream.

Anonymous said...

Kaari -
I have been following your blog for a while now and am so impressed by what you do on a day to day basis - you are constantly moving. Thanks for allowing us to see the world through your eyes!