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(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


27 NOVEMBER, 2016

Mensen op de Markt / Folks on the Market

DELFT - Goedkoop is a way of saying, in Dutch, that something is a good buy, low cost or on sale. Things are goedkoop at the market. I shop there most every Thursday and have come to know some of the folks working stalls.

I enter the market from the east side, past the New Church and the Blue Heart. Go often enough and you begin to see the same vendors, and most of them know it when someone comes regularly. There are social, casual and polite exchanges that build over time. Most do not notice the clerk, the checkout guy or the cafe waiter; most are thinking about their errands and their own lives. Fair enough, except that the vendors are just like you: they are not cardboard that fold up, become still, after you pass.


"The market is flanked by the city hall on one end and the New Church on the other. Looming thoughtfully over the square is Hugo the Great's statue, right in front of the French Fries stand."

Winter can be cold in Holland though we have had mild seasons lately. The stall that sells sheep skin clothes does good business in the fall. I've bought house slippers, gloves, hats and 'throws' from her. She is not Dutch and a little shy but we can understand each other.

The folks running the bread stalls are too busy for more than an 'Ik will graag...', I would like, and have an oven in their stall. Your sense of smell will tell you when the bread and croissants are ready. I'm drawn to the sign that tells me the owner is Gek!, crazy, and is selling blueberry muffins 6 for 1 euro and American (soft) Chocolate cookies, also 6 for 1 euro. Just around a corner, there are at least 3 stalls selling fresh herring buns, with lots of onion, fried or fresh fish.

I do not have one favorite stall, I have many even when I'm just wandering. The 'potato man' is an open faced, smiling guy who also sells onions, garlic, peas. I especially like his big potatoes from Friesland for baking and split peas for soup.

His English is pretty good and I learned he speaks Dutch, French, German, Spanish and English. He tells me it opens so much to a person when they can speak a little or more of a foreign tongue. He lived in France but thinks French is hardest.

He was laughing telling me they are like his fellow Dutch: speak too fast and mumble. I start out with Dutch but he catches when I need to switch to English. Same for the meat man, who will slice bacon to the thickness you like.

A stop by the Dieren, animal, stall makes me wish I had my two, sweet labradors still. Every treat and toy you can imagine. I get 'snoopjes' for Goofy, my partner's dog; the vendor always gives an extra piece of chew stick for your pet.

My partner asks which stall do I go to; I tell her the one with the round woman with a high voice. Oh yes, I know which one, she answers. The kid at the juice stall says he hasn't seen me in a while; I tell him I've been busy and he grins.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved -
In memory of Herb Caen