Saturday, February 21, 2009

Market day



Last Saturday I slept really late and when I finally got up and ventured out, it was so late in the day that I didn't get an authentic "Saturday in Namur" experience. So this morning I made myself get up and get dressed, and I went for a really long walk. I walked into the great beyond, past my previous boundaries, well into the old part of the city, where the streets are too narrow for modern cars. I came across an outdoor market where I think you could buy just about anything you might want, from clothing to fruit, from fresh flowers to fabric and wallpaper.

And IT'S NOT RAINING today! Which was a very nice bonus to my walk.

At the market, I met a friendly young Belgian man who sought my advice on which type of lettuce he should buy. Upon hearing my plea of parlez-vous Anglais? he switched to perfect English and we had a pleasant conversation. He planned to make lunch for his girlfriend - a surprise, I think - anyway, he was proud of himself in a sweet kind of way. He asked me where I was from, and when I told him the USA he wanted to know what city. "Indianapolis," I answered, and he grinned: "Cars! . . . car racing!" which, of course, made me smile. The second thing he asked me was what I thought of President Obama, and he said that people here are very happy with our new President. Just so you'll know, these are typically the two questions I'm asked most (where I'm from and my thoughts on President Obama) - regardless of where in the world I go.

I bought some Speculoos at the grocery store . . . not the cookies but the spread (they call it "pasta" here - I suppose pasta is paste). This is something that is unique to northern France and Belgium (and the Netherlands, where it's called speculaas). IT'S REALLY YUMMY!!! It comes in a jar like peanut butter (or Nutella) and you put it on bread or whatever. OMG! I'm going to have to see if I can bring several jars home.

Coffee has been a problem here - there are no coffee shops!!! - and I can't help but think that a cup of coffee (better yet, a toffee nut latte from Starbucks) would go really well with the speculoos. I'll keep dreaming for now. 

Tomorrow I may be taking a road trip! Come back and see . . .