The sun was shining over the villa’s swimming pool and the breeze was light across the patio. Boxing Day, the day to recover from the excesses of the previous day, was the perfect day to wander into the nearest town and, upon arrival, we found the local market in (almost) full swing.
The market in Javea town is the kind of market that you do not see too often at home. One wonders, however, if much of it is there for the tourist trade. I am assured it was different last week but the Christmas holidays mean there are fewer traders.
I am taken with several things at the market. Firstly, it is very friendly. This may seem an odd thing to say but I find this kind of street-stall market back home often borders on the agressive. Traders don’t so much ply their wares but thrust them upon you. Secondly, it’s a very mixed market. There is food (to take home) and food to eat while wandering but there are household goods, clothes and a large (very large) selection of leather bags.
Thirdly, I am taken aback by the lack of labels. Walk round my local market on a Sunday morning and all the clothes stalls are straining under the weight of Tommy, Nike or whatever today’s fashion label is (the authenticity of the goods I cannot vouch for). Here, it all seems remarkably brandless.
But mainly I am disconcerted by the food. Forget the olives and the smoked meats which look so very tempting. It’s the regular fruit and vegetable stall that amazes me. The range is astounding and we couldn’t name all the fruits on show. They also look real. By this I mean they are of varying colours, shapes, sizes and, to be honest, in various states of decay. The aren’t the identical specimens you find on the shelves of your local supermarket at home. Of course, I know I can find home/farm-produced organic foodstuffs in England but I’d just forgotten and this market is the day I was reminded.
Maybe it should be a resolution for the new year. Find and use my local farmer’s market.