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:
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
Monsieur: ok - not that much, I kid with you
Me: ok - so they're more?
Monsieur: no, no maybe 3 euros each
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!