Flohmarkt (Flea Market)
It's Sunday morning and I'm already contemplating a Saturday on 13 October. Flohmarkt, as the Germans call it. Antique vendors. The smell of roasting brats and fresh brewed coffee. Polite crowds, but so thick a stroller’s pressed from all sides.
The bite of the fall air. Glassware sparkling in the sunshine. Baskets for every purpose and in every woven shape. Old glass wine jugs so big your arms stretch to carry them. Old clothes, military paraphernalia with forbidden symbols covered with tape, picture frames and arrays of secondhand tools spread out on the ground. A good twenty acres of tented booths. The sounds of active commerce in German and English, Russian, Italian, and Spanish. All of greater Europe well represented. Haggling? You bet.
I'll do my best to see it all, but stop to gander and decide, and get too distracted to cover the whole market. Always happens. My attention span only lasts an hour or two.
Need a bicycle? One vendor always shows up with a few dozen, from the mildly rust specked specimens with peeling chrome to the pristine examples with razor thin tires, ready for the velodrome. What kind of a truck carries this the menagerie of pedal power?
I'll check out hand hewn wooden dough bowls from a century ago, perhaps buy a silver wine bucket, or a few ancient cigar molds I've been coveting. On a Saturday past, I stumbled across a restored wooden work bench. Perfect for a dining room buffet. Wanted $500 and I've seen some in the states not half as good, costing four times that much. Took too long to wander through the labyrinth of stalls trying to make up my mind. Came back and found it again, but now it had a big 'verkauft', (sold) sign on it.
Later, at an Italian deli, I sat in the sunshine with friends, nibbled some fragrant, green olives , chatted with the wait staff that always yell out, the Americans are here, and drank a couple of grapas to ease the pain of loss.
See, a Flohmarkt walks the line between the lottery and the craps table.
Now, grab a coffee from a coffee cart to stave off the chill, and while you sip, how 'bout we stroll down the Flohmarkt's memory lane together. Gander at a few photos, pine about lost treasures, and while we chat, my mind will be on Saturday, 13 October and the next roll of the dice.
P.S. As usual, my artist friends are welcome to use any and all of my photos for inspiration.