Balkan Reflections

This blog has been set up to assist in communicating with friends and family while we are in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Location: Ontario, Canada

Striving to a better day.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I think today I will write about the streets I’ve seen.

We’ve been to the market a couple of times so far. At the outside edges, it resembles a flea market or very large garage sale. As you work in, it looks more like a Farmers’ Market, which is actually very much what it is.

Sweet peppers are available in abundance right now, red and yellow, with cabbage, onions, potatoes, cauliflower and apples and oranges.

There are also eggs (all brown). Some stalls offer a variety of household goods, detergents, spices, flour, pots and pans (the uses for some I have not yet determined). These stalls usually offer better prices than the same products would fetch in a store.
Barter does not seem to be an accepted practice, but the vendors aren’t above raising the prices for someone they see as a ‘mark’…like us, for instance! We don’t speak the language and we still see the prices here as very low (which they generally are compared to home, especially for food), but we are beginning to remember what we’ve paid in other places.

The other day, I went to pick up a package of tissues at a market stall. The woman said it would be one Euro (which was a clue in itself, as most locals do not wish to be paid in Euros). I didn’t understand what she’d said at all, but dh did. That price was about triple what he’d paid at the little store near our home! We didn’t buy THOSE Kleenex!

Further in to the market is clothing. Stalls sell exclusively socks! Or women’s underwear. There are some nice things, and it goes on and on. It seems to me that the further in you go the narrower the space between the stalls. At some point, it resembles a bazaar!

Certain days bring certain ‘specialties’ to the market. Tuesdays are animal days. You can buy a horse or pig on the hoof! Sundays, you can buy a car.

There’s a man who seem to get the spot right outside the entrance to the main part of the market who always has a tray of fish, from which he diligently swishes the flies. No ice is present anywhere!

In the downtown area not far from the end of the market, are shops in buildings. One is struck by the amount of marble everywhere! It is lovely.

In many areas, the streets are cobble-stone. Horse drawn carts on these and all other streets in the area are not at all uncommon.

On the way home from the downtown, as dh and I were on the bus. I looked out and saw a little girl of about 7 walking along the painted median of a very busy street. No one seemed at all concerned, least of all her.

I mentioned this to dh an he told me I’d seen my first Romany (Gypsy). This little gal would be going on to tap on the car windows and beg. From what little I know of the Romany, it seems that they have been extraordinarily successful at resisting inculturation.

Internet service is frustratingly spotty today, so I will attempt to paste this into my blog if I can five uninterrupted minutes of service!



Blogger WICatholic said...

Glad to see you got the uninterrupted service!

4:42 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home