Living in France as an American means also living under a very glamorous pile of paperwork: birth certificate translations, endless forms brought to you by the French government, hundreds of terrible Photomaton pictures that will, alas, ultimately go unused.
When dealing with all of the hurdles of France, I like to reward myself, to remind myself why I’m photocopying every piece of paper I’ve ever touched and interacting with often unhappy civil servants. This usually culminates in a gelato from my favorite gelato man who we are so happy is open again (he closes in winter, and with the recent weather it feels as though he still should be), a sweet crêpe, or a glass/bottle of wine, depending on the level of trauma accrued.
But today, it was the market.
I have always been a sucker for markets. They are my favorite place to observe people, to smell the wafts from the rotisserie chicken and galette makers, and to get first dibs on the beautiful seasonal produce (today, it was the ripe tomatoes that I have big tart plans for). In Aix, it was where I would chat with the man who sells lavender; in Paris it’s where I greet and am greeted by my regular vendors: first the organic produce stand, then to the flowers after a quick tour around to see if anything catches my eye.
As I was buying fish on Sunday, the girl at the poissonnerie told me to turn around and look at what the woman behind me was wearing — a bathrobe and slippers. “On voit tout ici!” she exclaimed, here, we see everything. Including octopus. ♦