As the weather gets warmer and the summer approaches, the Tuesday market in Olonzac takes on a new appearance. Gone are the days when I can move freely through the stalls, paying for my purchases without long lines and without having to wait for the visitors who are unfamiliar with the Euro while they painstakingly look at each coin, trying to figure out what they need to pay the amazingly patient vendors. It's pretty amusing when they just hand over a bunch of coins and let the poor vendor sort it out!
During the summer, the market becomes almost twice the size of it's pared down, winter version.
A woman with olive oil soap in about thirty different scents suddenly appears one Tuesday, as does the man who brings vivid blue, yellow and green pottery from Spain. Vendors selling clothing from Africa and India, all those long flowing things that are perfect to throw on over a swimsuit, show up along with the man who has crates and crates of CD's for sale and blasts his music into the crowd through a little boom box that relies far too much on bass. Then there are the street musicians, serenading their victims, I mean, coffee and rosé drinkers soaking up the sun on the café's terrace. The music is usually pretty awful and they're never pleased when I don't drop coins into the hats they pass around.
What strikes me the most is the lack of French voices I hear when I go through the market during the summer. Yesterday it was as if there wasn't one single French person doing their weekly shopping. I know that isn't the case as I saw several of our neighbors buying their usual eggs, saucisson and vegetables, but it's always noticeable and somewhat surreal to hear so many English voices concentrated in one place.
And it makes me wonder what the French think about it all.