la târg

I had a new experience today: the gypsy flea market. In Romanian, "târg."

If you've ever been to a flea market in America, just imagine pretty much the same thing. Plus gypsies. I'm talking big vans full of stuff, men with black eyes and round bellies, women wearing long skirts and colorful headscarves, and lots of yelling. They kept saying things like,
"Sweaters cost 10 Lei, don't put them in your bags yet!"
"10 Lei for sweaters, choose one!"
"You can get 4 pairs of pants for 10 Lei, it was a mistake when I said only 3 pairs!" 
I spent a half hour looking for a short black cardigan to wear with a nice dress, but didn't find one. I strolled passed a lot of dusty old lamps and remote controls. I talked myself out of buying some random copper plaques that read "Nurnburg, Germany." I put back a cracked teapot. I searched through a shoebox with an old man until we found a vintage postcard from our city.

In short, I LOVED IT.

My roommate and I invested in some handmade wooden rolling pins and a wooden spoon.

While she was talking to the craftsmen (an elderly gentleman from the church and his wife), I wandered off. I tend to do that. I'd seen a nice picture on the way in, and now it caught my eye again, so I went over to check the price. This is where my bargaining skills acquired in Nicaragua came in handy -- I brought the price down by 5 Lei! Granted, that's only about $1.50, but it's the fact that I bargained at the gypsy market that I'm really proud of. I ended up with not one, but two vintage schoolroom prints for which I hope to find frames. I find it hard to believe that something this colorful hung in a communist-era classroom, but I guess even the most pointy-nosed politician couldn't deny that trees are pink and birds build nests in Spring. I can't help it, I just have a weakness for old and colorful things that cost less than $10.

I love everything about this print. Even the old string.
Arrival of the Swallows - 1962
I shout, I shiver! (From a poem by George Coșbuc) - 1958
I asked the boss man to give me every Tuesday off from school so I can go to the târg. He said no. Probably for the best.

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