Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One more market day

Add to Google Reader or HomepageWe are beginning the process of preparing to return to the states. We leave in less than two weeks. That means there is only one more Tuesday market day for me.

We have a number of people renting our apartment this summer and fall thus we have to box and store all of our belongings to make way for the renters.

I said au revoir to the staff and kids at the crèche yesterday as Thursday of this week is another national holiday (Ascension day) so I won’t have my Thursday opportunity of volunteering at the crèche. When I am not at the crèche or walking around town, I have been helping Michel prepare the surface for the clay court at the tennis club – but it probably won’t be ready for use until after we leave. C’est la vie!

Leaving our village is a bittersweet event. I look forward to seeing friends and family and to planting my vegetable garden in Lansing but know that I will miss the slower pace of our village in Vaison la Romaine. I enjoy living in a place where the majority of necessities are available in the center of town. On the other hand, our Westside neighborhood has always been a wonderful place to live and, there are a few restaurants/pubs within walking distance of our Lansing home.

We started a “Ciné-club” in Vaison so that we could increase the times when we speak French and also see films in French. I will miss all of our Ciné-club friends but will get to rejoin our movie group in Lansing. Dans la vie, il y a des compromis.

There is not an event in Lansing that can compare with market day in Vaison la Romaine. Now that the weather is nicer, there are more stalls and vendors. There is a wonderful variety of – of everything! On the other hand, there are many more tourists and one has to deal with the gridlock of crowds.

“Vaison la Romaine has one of the best weekly markets in the Provence and perhaps in France. Its origin goes back to 1483, when Pope Sixtus IV granted a license. In 1532 Pope Clement VII stipulated that the market be held every Tuesday in Vaison [sic] and this is observed to this day. Let us put it this way: assume you come to the Provence just with a toothbrush, you can get everything (including a new toothbrush) here. It is one gigantic open air department store, offering everything here, from clothes and shoes to furniture, meat, fish, ham and sausages, vegetables, fruits, cheese and wine and while you are doing your shopping you won't need to stay hungry either. This is actually one of the best places to shop for Provençal items, like table linens, earthenware and toilettries [sic]. The market is held every Tuesday from 8 AM to around 1 PM in the town proper. Many streets are closed off. Parking is definitely a problem. The trick is to arrive either early (around 8:30 AM) or after 11 PM AM [sic]. If you see a group of Americans expertly shopping for vegetables, fruits, fish and meat, it is probably Patricia Wells and her cooking class. (

I took a few photos of market day, but my camera shots pale in comparison to those taken by another blogger. I suggest that you read the April 28, 2012 “Market Day in Vaison-la-Romaine” post by chcmichel of “Our House in Provence” (

For my friend John with whom I share a love of olives and the best olive vendors, I have included two pictures.