………… it was more relaxed than usual – or perhaps it was me!
I wandered around for a couple of hours, not worrying about vegetables or fruit.
It was warm but not too hot. It was busy but not impossible to move.
In this dreamy mood I…….
– bought a Blue dress from this stall for 26 euros which was too much but the dress is lovely
– did not buy these extra long mops
– followed this woman to get a photo of her as I loved her very un-Granollers glasses. There seem to be a lot of USA pants around as well as some with the Union Jack!
– braved the olive man again and this time he smiled
– laughed at some leggings and felt glad that women here with large bottoms really do wear them with pride rather than hide themselves in baggy sacks
– relaxed on these ‘put your feet up’ seats on the Plaça dels Porcs while Pep bought the vegetables and fruit. Are these the whitest legs in Granollers?
For the first time this year I had to cross the road to get into the shade – it’s hot!
No need to get undressed though!
Still not finding peaches in the market so I bought some apricots – summer is coming!
I am in a Catalan week and practised by talking about tango to the vegetable stall holder and bees to the honey man. The bees in Tarragona are doing very well – so it’s not all bad news!
Still haven’t managed to do any formal study but at least I have spoken a lot more in Catalan.
Where normally I might say just a few words, I have been actively trying to stretch out conversations purely for practice. While not quite grabbing people by the arm in the street like some crazy ancient mariner I am definitely not letting people go until I have had my tuppence-worth of chat.
In the market I went to at least four different stands for the fruit and vegetables. I asked which artichokes were best for cooking ‘a la brasa’, I told another customer how to prepare Kohl rabi and what it could do for your health, I stopped an aquaintance in the street and talked for at least 15 minutes about the need to have a vegetable patch.
Today my partners son arrived – ‘for good’. Well, at least till he is finished with college.
Normally I speak to him in English partly for his education and partly because I can’t bear him to be laughing at me as I stumble along. Our relationship has been rocky over the past two years.
But today was Catalan day so I told him I must speak in Catalan and he actually helped me with words and reminded me when I slipped into English.
And then we all went for supper at the pizza restaurant.
By ‘All’ I mean, my partner, his ex wife, his son and me. This was a first and funnily enough it went well. She is leaving the country very soon and is in that special time before saying goodbye to her old life. I had done my positive affirmations before going and so somehow it worked out.
I find I am sometimes thinking in Catalan. I wonder how it would be to really switch over like I know some people have done into English?
I also did a whole hour and a half class of Photoshop in Catalan without getting dizzy once.
Two new things at the same time – my brain is getting quite excited!
It was relaxed at the market today
I went late but there seemed to be no rush to close the stalls. Everyone was in slow motion, enjoying the sunshine and perhaps the wonderful ordinariness of a January Thursday without the pressure of Christmas ahead. I love January because Christmas is as far away as it can possibly be! (Not that I hate it really but it’s so dominant in December)
I bought some boots – having decided that I need black leather ones I bought these
They are made in Spain which is not easy to find these days as almost everything is Made in China.
I was in the right mood to practise Catalan so chatted to the stall holders and provided amusement to the people selling vegetables when I asked for pernil. ‘Oh no we don’t have that’ she joked, ‘unless you want to take it from here’ (stroking her own thigh) ‘Do you mean perejil? ‘
It was my fault for using the castellano word for parsley instead of the Catalan julivert.
Pernil is ham
Of course there are more things to look at in the weekly market – not just pants pants pants.
Granollers market has a long and interesting history. There are records of a market being held here as long ago as the 11th century and this weekly invasion of the centre of town by stalls and sellers has continued uninterrupted until now.
Perhaps in the middle ages there were also places to buy underwear – woollen?
This building – the Porxada – is the iconic symbol of Granollers. It dates from the 16th century and although partially destroyed in the bombing of the city in the civil war, has since been completely restored. It is a useful place to meet friends and on Thursdays this is where I go to buy vegetables and practise my català
Of course one of the purposes of markets in the past was to buy and sell animals. There is a square here called Plaça de Perpinyà which was locally known as Plaça dels Porcs. Pep remembers being taken to the cattle market by his grandfather when he was a young boy. At that time it was held in what is now a public park, Torres Villà. There were cows and horses and he remembers the fear of the animals as they were loaded onto lorries, urged up the ramps by the use of electric prods. Now the only part of the weekly market that reminds you of the realities of animal husbandry is in a small square near the Hotel Fonda Europa where there are cages of birds – ducks, chickens, geese.
So what else is there to see in the market now? Here are some pictures from last week
Flowers and plants
Bags with the beautiful exterior of the Hotel Fonda Europa in the background
And Calçots which we ate twice this weekend and I will write about in the next post
I am gradually finding stalls where I feel comfortable speaking in Català and taking my time to choose fruit and vegetables. Market sellers in London are much more scary than most of the people here and because Granollers still has a feeling of the pueblo there is a relaxed attitude to time and I rarely feel ignored or pressured to shop quickly.
And there is always the temptation of a cafe amb llet and a xuxu before wheeling my full trolley home.