University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Market

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Friday night just before I went out my Madame asked if I would like to go to the “marché” with her Saturday morning; she goes every Saturday because that’s when it’s the best but they also hold it every Wednesday in this location. There are these open air markets all over the city pretty much any day of the week. So Saturday morning we walked about 10 minutes to Montparnasse with her cute little trolly cart in hand along the cobblestone streets.

First impression: sensory overload! Sounds of quarreling French people over prices, smells that combined fish (and when I say fish, I mean fish…like there’s a pile of freshly caught fish), poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables and the sizzling of potatoes on one vendors grill. Every color and texture imaginable for the eyes. It was actually amazing. Each vendor we stopped at knew us, “Bonjour Madame!” and she would introduce me as her newest student. I used this as an opportunity to practice my vocabulary, identifying the things I knew and asking her about the things I didn’t…including the things that I couldn’t even identify in English.

Next we went to Monoprix which is like Target and any normal grocery store combined. It was bustling with people, I’m guessing Saturday morning shopping is a popular thing here. We stopped at each meat vendor and she explained what certain things were before ordering very specific cuts of meat. When we got to the cheese counter, which was ENORMOUS, she pointed out each section: a large section for goats cheese, large section for cows cheese, etc. There was one “loaf” of brown, jelly looking stuff that I questioned. She didn’t know how to explain it so she had the cheese lady cut me a taste. It was “Coing” or what tasted like some fruity jam in gelatin form.

This whole ordeal took about two and a half hours and we left with an overflowing cart and multiple grocery bags, we carried everything home and I tried helping her unpack. Sorry, no pictures, I was far to overwhelmed to remember but maybe next time!