Pictures from the flea market!

I've been hanging around the flea market (henceforth referred to as the "târg") again. Now that I know how to get there on foot, even though it's a pretty long walk, I feel like there's nothing holding me back! I've even been sharing the joy with some local friends who'd never been before. I guess sometimes it takes a foreigner to help people appreciate all that their city has to offer.

I learned a new word by going to/talking about the market: "vechituri" (vek-yi-toor). It means junk, rubbish, odds and ends.

I think "odds and ends" is a pretty good term for what you find at the târg. There are lots of interesting people, young and old, all looking for something different -- brand-name clothes, old tools, random repair parts for random things, vintage/antique dishes, and of course lots of junk.

First, let's take a look at the folks who sell clothes at the târg. These are the gypsies you see in movies. In the old days they really did travel in wagons to sell pots and pans in different villages. Now they have vans and trucks instead of wagons, and mostly clothes instead of pots, but they're still in a different town every day. They speak both Romanian and their own language.

There are rows and rows of clothes, and for each few rows someone stands watching to make sure you don't stuff something extra in your bag.

These long skirts are worn by all the women and have huge pockets for carrying cash. When you pay, they pull out a huge wad of bills to make change. Notice that the women have their heads covered.

In the picture above, a young girl is doing her part to fold pairs of jeans. Instead of a head scarf, she has her hair in two long braids with a pink ribbon woven in. Because the market is only once a week, and they're in a different town each day, all the goods have to be folded and packed away every day and loaded back into the vans/trucks. We usually go at the end of the day, and they get kind of irritated if you start looking through the clothes that have already been folded. That's understandable.

Another thing I love about the târg is the food. There is a huge grill with mici (meech), a kind of sausage, and vendors selling other goodies. My favorite treat is langoși (lahn-go-sh). It's a fried bread that tastes just like a funnel cake and is filled either with cheese or nutella. Guess which is my favorite? The one with chocolate, duh. The gypsy man in the cowboy hat told my roommate it was rude for her to take my picture with my mouth full, but I wanted to capture this moment of bliss.

And now, the vechituri (odds and ends, remember?). A friend bought me this beer mug for my birthday. I told her I don't drink beer, but I do like the way the mug is painted, so we agreed that it's the ideal size for coffee instead of beer. It's pretty huge, although you can't tell much from the pictures.

The other thing I bought this week was a lovely teapot, or "ceainic" (chai-nick).

 I just liked the colors because they go with the kitchen things I had in my apartment in the U.S., but on a whim I looked up the stamp on the bottom to see if it had any value. It turns out to be by a German company, Bareuther Bavaria, and was probably produced from 1930-50 based on the stamp used. Not worth a lot of money, maybe 15 Euros, but that's still a lot more than the 5 Lei (1 Euro) that I paid! Regardless of the value, I love the flowers and the colors, and can't wait to try and get this back to America in one piece.

So there you go, a look at where I spend my Tuesday lunch breaks! Who wants to join me next time?

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