France

Shopping in Angers

Cow Heads, Taxidermy Foxes, Cheap Peaches, OH MY!

The globby thing on the left is squid

On our first Saturday in Angers, we attempted to rise early to partake in the weekly farmer’s market, which occurs quite literally outside of our door. Well the antique part does, and by antique I mean the random assortment of taxidermy foxes, antique microscopes, books, scarves, various actual antiques, and handmade woolen shawls trimmed with fur (on sale for 110 Euros!). Farther along the path, stalls continue to set up with items ranging from sodas to clothing.
We passed a couple of boulangeries (bakeries) in hopes of finding some amongst the produce sellers (we did, later, after we had already eaten) but lost hope and I purchased un crepe chocolat- est délicieux! Colton admitted defeat to his stomach after idling through the fruit and vegetable stands and we procured him a couple of “beignets” (not quite the same as I’m used to seeing in the States).
We purchased nothing else save our breakfast on this venture, as we mainly were performing recon on the price of goods compared to the three grocery stores we now frequent.
Yes, three.
Epicure Exotic–the Asian store—we visit for spices and cheaper ramen.
The Carrefour City—the small store—for most of our grocery needs
Monprix—sorta like Target—and by “like Target” I mean it has groceries, clothes, house wares, and such. For most food items, it’s the most expensive but oddly enough sells the cheapest juice (and with only 1 liter per bottle, I go through it like crazy).

Now with the farmer’s market, we’ve discovered where to get cheaper fruit and veggies, cooked shrimp for pretty cheap—also cardigans for 8 Euros. Along with curious items that we won’t be purchasing, such as the cow head, and feet, and the eels—HUGE eels, and the cheeses; it is sad that I’m in France with I’m sure several delightful fresh cheeses but am just not a cheese person.
As far as the language barrier, we seem to get by just fine on “bonjour”, “merci” and “combien ca coute?” or “hello”, “thank you”, and “how much?”. Otherwise we just smile and nod and speak in English to each other hoping they get that we don’t speak French; we made that mistake in Paris with our taxi driver who took a little while before he realized we had no clue what he was saying.
The greatest frustration comes when I’ve forgotten to translate what I need into French before we go shopping, and so I’m not quite sure I’m buying the right thing; yesterday I had to do this with butter and half-and-half. I did manage to get butter, haven’t checked the bottle of other stuff I got yet so not quite sure. It’s probably one reason why I like shopping in the Asian market, half the time in the US I didn’t know what the menu said or what was in the box so I just relied on context clues to get me through.
And it’s nice that the amount pops up on a screen at a register so you seem like you know what’s going on for just a bit.
An advantage in living in Austin before coming here was the fact that we had to bring our own grocery bags, same here, so that made it not quite so foreign an experience. Having your own bags also helps keep us from buying too much, seeing as we (I mean Colton) has to carry it home.
Fast Forward a week…
I forgot to take pictures last time, that’s why I held onto the post

We woke up on Saturday the fourteenth with intentions of spending most of the day outside. Well, we woke up to it raining so our motivation to hop out of bed and hurry off to the market was bit subdued but we eventually got away from the comfy blankets to semi-water resistant attire.

This week we brought home apples, peaches, garlic, onions, a melon, pineapple, baguette, and four dried sausages—after the vendor fed us samples of practically every time of tried sausage and ham he had at his table, I’m not quite sure what I ate and one he referred to as “donkey” so I sincerely hope I heard names wrong.


We held off on shrimp and other delicacies (I’m seriously tempted by the crab but despite my preference for it in sushi there is no way I’m bringing home eel). We nabbed breakfast from the same vendors as last time—me with my crepe and Colton with his beignet sucre from the grumpy guy. I couldn’t figure out why he was confused when Colt ordered until I realized he was ordering in Spanish and not French (sugar is spelled the same in both languages but pronounced differently, I still have a bad time of saying “si” and not “oui”).

We revealed our foreigner a bit more this go around since we actually made purchases, on vendor enjoyed teasing us with the language gap. Hopefully overtime this will help us become just a bit more like the locals and less like tourists. 

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