Everard 't Serclaes, Brussels, October 2009
After a whirlwind trip to Paris and Brussels the harsh reality of the real world smacked me square in the face yesterday within minutes of arriving to my office. That, after a nine hour flight seated next to an asthmatic dog. I wish I were kidding, but I've got the video to prove it. But enough about bad work days and worse flights...let's go to the Brussels flea market!
Minutes from the Brussels train station (which is only slightly over an hour from Paris...incredible, really) is the Place Jeu de Balle flea market.
"The Place du Jeu de Balle or Vossenplein is located in the heart of the Marolles, the Brussels working-class district par excellence. This square was also known as the 'Vieux Marché' (old market). ... You will meet antique lovers, strollers, occasional visitors. ... You should definitely make a stop at an outdoor café with a delicious beer and enjoy the live music, especially during the summer."
It's also apparently known for its whack array of product, mostly all of which is buried in boxes or strewn across blankets. And by "whack" I mean:
Yup; weird (which is not to say that the sassy blond with the dirty doll didn't totally become my Facebook profile photo faster than you could say, "Passez le bier!").
And EXPENSIVE. The harsh reality of the failing dollar was omnipresent during this trip. Yikes.
But there was no way I was going to a flea in Belgium and coming back empty handed. I scavenged a few buttons buried in boxes of sewing supplies:
They are quite large (at least 2" each) and lovely, but at about 90 cents U.S. each (EACH!) they are going to have to go on some very special bags or pillows. That glass domed tortoise shell one is yummy, though.
I also picked up a pair of Napoleon dishes (you know where those are headed) for 5 Euro each (about $7.35 each) which is so totally out of my normal thrifty price range.
But they are way cuter than an "I went all the way to Brussels and all I got was this rotten tee-shirt...and a fistful of buttons" shirt (or whatever the equivalent is). And I just looked up the markings...
...and found one of the plates listed on eBay for $34.95 (and saw similar versions later on at a Paris flea for much more). So now I feel a little better.
Tomorrow: The piss boy and the fondled statue. Now if that doesn't make you come back for more, I don't know what will.