I was told that I could see what the French call a fair – more like a huge market – of the old-fashioned kind, «une foire populaire,» at the town of Lencloître, in the Poitevin region just south of la Touraine. So I went.
The first Monday of every month, it’s quite the show. And total immersion in people and commerce of the most basic kind. Anything you need, and many things you long for – all for sale.
Clothes, cheaply made, in big sizes, and very colorful take up several alleys in the marketplace. Those you need. Then, there is longed-for risqué lingerie. See below.
Food of all kinds, prepared or to take home and fix in your own kitchen. See below one photo of the local specialty, white asparagus. I did not, however, take a picture of the bin of shiny, very much alive eels.
Even future food… : live animals, some for eating (them or their eggs, i.e., geese, ducks, and other fowl), some for companionship – ponies, dogs, cats. At one point I took a break from the crowd and went into a café on the side of one alley, and saw that many customers sat at their tables, sipping their coffee, beer or wine, with boxes beside them. They lifted the lids from time to time to baby-talk to the new friend inside.
There were lots of elbow-high tables under small tents set up as wine bars, busy serving local wine at 1 euro/glass.
There were merchants selling new window systems, cars, and even grandfather clocks.
And boy was it crowded! Here are some pictures I took at the fair: