Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Market, To Market

I've recently discovered a farmers' market, which sets up shop every weekend and where almost anyone can come and hawk his wares. It's a little bit like a flea market; there are 'stalls' selling almost anything, from half-empty bottles of perfume (or bottles marked "Tester Only") to imported clothes and plastic crap (all for a zloty.) Some stalls are stacked with goods you can buy in any grocery store, others are dedicated solely to spices, packaged up in small plastic baggies, while others sell flowers or baked goods. (I use the word stalls loosely; some are just goods spread out over blankets on the ground, or even less: just some guy sitting amongst various items.)
Mostly, it's dominated by stalls selling fresh produce at cheap prices. Some selections, such as heirloom tomatoes and specialty fruits, are absent from grocery store selves. As I inquired to the price of some ogórki maly solny, the lady selling the stuff offered me a free sample (you don't see Carrefour giving away free pickles; they just have free samples of shitty coffee or yogurt or something.) I was so delighted that I bought half a kilo. I walked in not knowing what I would get, but walked out with bunches of amazing fresh basil, huge onions, large, juicy tomatoes, and some freshly dug up potatoes for 1.50zl/kg. As I browsed amongst the venders, I came along one place selling old stamps. The open page had two stamps commemorating the Soviet space ventures, so I bought two (they came in a pair) for a zloty. The guy immediately tried to interest me with some others, but I politely declined.
Before I left, I snapped a few shots of the colorful stalls. With my last picture, I took a photo of all the trucks lined up. Some guy (probably one of the farmers) came up and started saying something I didn't quite understand. At first I thought was asking about my camera, and maybe even asking if I would take some pictures of him (he spoke in such a rush, using words I didn't understand and I could only pick out a few random things.) It then became obvious that he was quite angry that I had taken a snapshot, saying "Privatny!" I looked at him quizzically (I was in a public space and no one was in the frame, least of all, him.) I shrugged and said, "To OK. Przepraszam" He gave me a glare and walked off. But the story doesn't end there. Some babcia—a cute lass of around 80—was sitting in a truck with the door ajar and the window down. She had seen and heard my "conversation" with the man and asked me to come over. She started speaking softly (dare I say apologetically) in another rush of words of which I had no comprehension. What was she saying? I can only surmise, but she seemed to be explaining something about the man and about photography and its allowance in public areas. Maybe she was saying that he was incorrect. I don't really know.
I left soon after.

soviet stamps space program sputnik cosmonauts
soviet stamps space program sputnik cosmonauts
Soviet stamps commemorating the Soviet Space Program.


Cristina said...

where is this market?

PolishMeKnob said...

On Filipiny Plaskowieckiej, right on the intersection with Aleja Komisji Edukacji Narodowej (about halfway between the Imielin and Natolin subway stops.)