After watching the Armistice Day ceremony, we continued on to the marché, Les Halles and the laverie.
The marché is similar to the flea markets in California…..new, inexpensive items for sale….. clothes, lingerie, jewelry, cosmetics, shoes, toys and all manner of household items. The women’s clothes were très chic, scarves were de rigueur and the lingerie rivaled Victoria’s Secret….oh, la la.
The aromas, the foods, the people, the sounds, the activity….. it envelops your senses and draws you into a different world…..a butcher scorching feathers from a chicken, another selling horse meat, fish mongers selling creatures we’ve never seen before, grocers with fruits we’ve never heard of and mushrooms larger than our heads….we’re feeling a bit like Charlie must have felt in the Chocolate Factory…..fascinated by all the wonders around us.
We decide to have lunch here, at Chez Bebelle. It’s zinc countertop runs the length of one of the aisles….half of its space is devoted to a bar, the other half to a restaurant. The bar is abuzz with locals talking, laughing and sipping their morning drink of choice….espresso, beer and rosé are in evidence. We sit down a little early for lunch….11:50….but a pretty, young woman cheerfully takes our order anyway. The menu is written on a blackboard…..unable to decipher everything that’s written, we play it safe and order the brochettes….poulet for me and boeuf for Craig…..with small glasses of wine that need to be replenished a few times before the meal is over.
Chez Bebelle is across the aisle from a boucherie run by Michel and his wife, Vivianne; they sell beef and chicken. Nearby, other boucheries sell lamb and horse…..meats that are also on Bebelle’s menu. Bebelle, the handsomely rugged owner, has a small electronic megaphone……the reason why soon becomes clear. As customers place their orders, Bebelle turns on the megaphone and tells the boucheries what he needs…..
“Michel, Michel….un poulet brochette et un bouef brochette.”
We finish lunch and head over to the laverie to do our laundry. We picked a good day for it….we’re the only ones there. We start two loads of laundry, put the damp sheets in the dryer and sit back wishing we had brought some books to read but, before long, the dryer’s finished. As we fold the sheets, we delight in their warmth and softness……line drying might be ecologically sound but leaves everything as stiff as cardboard.
After three loads of laundry….washed, dried and folded…..our mission is finally accomplished and we head on home.
Jusqu’à demain…..until tomorrow