All is well in La France Profonde when you visit a town fair such as this monthly event in Rouillac, a short 15 minutes from Jarnac. Held the 27th of every month, rain, shine or snow, it's one giant mixed market where you'll find all sorts of things from the usual fresh legumes, sausages or cheeses to clothing and shoes and lots and lots of crap from China.
What sets a market like this apart from a Farmers' Market aside of size is that you can even procure some livestock, such as rabbits, all different breeds of chickens, ducks and geese. I've seen rabbits, pigeons and even singing birds. There were a couple of dog vendors too, one had cats on offer as well. One guy had some pigs in a crate, but they caused such a racket when he tried to get one out....I took a picture inside. Poor pigs.
The market takes over the whole town, streets are lined with the old trucks many of which have slide out extensions to enlarge the vending space for their fashionable wares. It's a lifestyle for these vendors, most definitely most know each other judging by seeing the same vendors in Jarnac and Cognac at our much smaller Fair. Some of these trucks are converted RVs from the 1970's which sort of gives you an idea how long some vendors have been at the circus of selling around the greater region of southwest France.
I had a coffee at a local Bar before starting my excursion and overheard a town elder express that when he was young there were 17(!) Cafes in town. Now there are four. I am not saying it's because their coffee sucks, but did the town's population shrink by that much or did habits change to that extend? Not sure.
Some of the vendors have a great sense of humor, when I asked one of them if I may take an image of his seedling truck, he said of course, if I buy his business. Just put the seeds on the Internet, you'll make a fortune, he told me. Ehm, thanks.
Another guy, selling a clever thing to extract juice from citrus fruits without the pits and such, was really really funny. I call him the sit down comedian. The jokes he cracked about his (not present) wife alone made some men buy this tool for 3.00. A smart man.
I watched a lady haggle over two really fluffy birds, I think the are called silk chickens, when I asked the vendor what to do with such a pretty bird, he explained it's for pleasure and not for eating. Their skin and meat is black., but their feathers are fluffy grey and white.
Here is a good three minute video that gives a good impression with sound and sight what this market is all about.
And here are some pictures.
15 MINUTES FROM
8.30 AM STILL SETTING UP
TIME TO BUY A HAT?
LUNCH MENU SET UP
CHEESE OF COURSE
NOT THAT GOOD
IS THAT A GOOD PRICE?
ALL THE DRIED FRUITS
YELLOW PINE SALT
FRESH EEL, NOT FROM A FARM, CAUGHT WILD
ABOUT 20 OYSTERS FOR SIX EUROS
MADE IN FRANCE
DONNER LES BLEUS - PUT ON THE COVERALL
NOT A BARGAIN
IT'S A TRAY, IT'S A BOWL
THE EXCITING PART
SINGING UP A STORM
60.00 FOR THE PAIR
THE HUMBLE BEGINNING OF A WINTER JACKET?
NEW COOKWARE MADE OF SOMETHING I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE SAID
STRAIGHT FROM THE NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
VINTAGE GLASS SETS
AN HOUR INTO WALKING, THESE START TO LOOK GREAT FOR LUNCH
COACHING THE NEXT GENERATION OF VENDORS
MARKETING IDEA: TIFFANY EGGS
WELL. NOT THESE. THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP
300.00 FOR JACK
NOT THE RUBBER KIND OF DUCKS. 1.00 EURO EACH
THIS WAS A VERY BUSY VENDOR
950.00 EACH. THE MOST EXPENSIVE ANIMAL AT THE MARKET
A PRETTY PIGEON?
THAT LADY BOUGHT TWO, MAYBE BECAUSE THEY MATCH HER OUTFIT?
GET IN THE BOX, YOU BEASTS
NOT A COSTCO CHICKEN
THAT'S MY KIND OF LUNCH
THE LOCAL HOME DEPOT
FRANCE. THE EPICENTER OF FASHION
PACKED BY 10 AM
I CAN JUST IMAGINE THE INSIDE
WILL ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS
NOT A BAD IDEA
VENDOR OF THE MONTH - HE WAS SO FUNNY
THESE TRUCKS ARE ACTUALLY VERY COOL
BULBS & SEEDS. BUSINESS FOR SALE
NOT MUCH CHANGES IN FRANCE
THE HARDWARE TRUCKS
VERY POPULAR LINE WITH LADIES OF A CERTAIN AGE
IMAGINE. SHOES. ALL YOUR LIFE. AL BUNDY?
A CONVERTED RV
AND BACK TO JARNAC FOR A SWIM BEFORE NOON