Friday, 8 April 2011

Lake Geneva in Cormatin and a Souq in Chalon

Big excitement in Cormatin this Monday evening as a fountain the size of the one in lake Geneva was spotted on the road to Chapaize next to the old well. Soon a whole lake rapidly getting to the size of Lake Geneva was forming. As it was a warm evening and bedroom windows were open, everyone came out to look and of course discuss the happening. “Ooh look at all that water”, “gosh the water main must have sprung a leak”, “hey we could all collect some free for our gardens”, “I hope my house doesn’t flood” etc etc etc, but not much action. Eventually it was decided that something should be done, well who would you ring if you saw a 5 meter fountain where a road should be? No not someone useful like the water company silly, this is France, it was the Mayor that was telephoned out of bed so that he could have the honour of letting the water company know there was “a bit of a leak”. Sadly I missed the event myself, but I was entertained to all the details by the twins who live next door to, but fortunately up-hill from, the great event.

With the barbeque weather we are having at the moment, my spice cupboard is running a bit low and as most spices are very expensive in the shops around here (basically because it is only the really adventurous that cook food outside of the standard French repertoire) we are always on the lookout for new places to buy - the UK and The Netherlands are a long way to go just for some coriander! So yesterday morning we headed off for
Chalon-sur-Saône where we had heard there was an Arab market “out near the stadium”. Not really expecting too much, we planned the trip to coincide with lunch time so that we could go to the new Indian restaurant we have found.

The market was amazing. There was hardly a European face to be seen and not much French being spoken. It was like being dropped into a market in Marrakech. Arabic music blasting out of the music stalls and with all number of head scarves and long Arab dresses, I felt decidedly underdressed in my shorts and tee-shirt ! The market was big and diverse, in fact it took us nearly an hour just to walk round all the stalls. I found a fantastic spice stall and stocked up at bargain basement prices, for instance I managed to buy 500g of ginger powder for the same price I had paid in Cluny market for only 50g just a couple of weeks ago - having said that when you add the cost of petrol and the price of a lunch, it wasn’t so cheap after all, but it was a great morning out.

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