Sunday, September 19, 2010

Good things come to those who rise early...

What an unexpectedly wonderful morning.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning (apparently I still haven't gotten used to French time), and after Skyping with Laura for about an hour (the only American I knew would be up and online in the middle of the night), I decided to venture out into the cool, quiet dawn and see what Lille is like on a Sunday morning. So I zipped up in my cozy North Face jacket (50 degrees would be a generous estimate of the temperature here), and headed for the boulangerie (bakery) across the street. After some contorted and convoluted French on my part, and a lot of gesturing and repeating on the part of the girl at the counter, I managed to order a croissant (still warm from the oven, mmm), and a "cafe au lait" (coffe with milk, of course), "sur place" (dine in). I sat at a table, sipped my coffee, and watched the streets begin to wake up. I noticed some vendors setting up outside the boulangerie, so I ordered another coffee, this time "emporter" (to go), and decided to take a walk. I walked about a half a block, and down an alleyway I noticed several more vendors setting up, so I turned and walked in that direction. When I turned the corner, I found an open-air market that would put the Bloomington farmer's market to shame. This market literally goes for blocks in every direction, and completely fills a huge lot in the center. I saw everything from fruits and vegetables to bootleg DVDs and designer knockoffs, wallpaper and giftwrap, fresh seafood, olives, jailbroken cell phones, shoes, handbags, jewelry, lingerie, and, best of all, rotisserie meats of every variety being roasted on-site. I'm going back for lunch :-).

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