Getting to Porte De Vanves
is as easy as everyone says.
Once off the tram, the signs are as rich
and plentiful as the treasures on offer.
Stock up on coffee, as food vans are scarce,
and there seems to be some politics
about it at the moment.
A hike to the end of the street for coffee
provides the stamina for more stalls
piled with authentic,
old junk with such rich patina.
No one would notice
me slipping this huge vintage beauty
from the 1900's onto walk on luggage?
Some lucky hunter
walked past with his prize - a vintage Loius Vuitton
suitcase - packed with brown and creamy stories.
Piles and piles of haberdashery
from a time when entire shops
were devoted to the stuff, and ladies with hair in piles served behind tall wooden counters.
I drooled over french lace,
and fossicked for buttons.
Stall holders were mostly a cheery lot,
chatting and joking.
Even an argument in french is entertaining.
The stuffed boar had a friendly smile.
Table after table of treasure.
I'm going back.
And that was only one street.
On the next we hit gold.
Worn, tattered and mended farming garments
from over a century ago.
A pile of trousers with different cuts according
to the trade of the wearer.
Some had larger seats for riding horses,
each design told you the wearer's art.
Even under torture of intense pestering,
the stall holder
would not reveal his sources.
Prices are prohibitive,
The coat was 200 euro.
Back to the Latin Quarter
for a well earned beer or three.
The Sorbonne is here,
therefore cheap beer and back in the day,
you spoke Latin to show off how learned you were.
Speaking of showing off I have a new French word:
Like any good swear word,
it has many nuances and is important to get right.
Once meaning lazy person,
it has come to include anyone
who is showing off or being a wanker.
Hand in the pants.
Or in a female case, branleuse.
I'll be branleusing next post, too.