Once a week vendors from all around gather to sell their wares at the neighborhood laiki, sort of a Greek version of the American farmer’s market. The trick is finding it. I was told Halandri has theirs on Tuesdays, and I had an idea of the vicinity. But what really tipped me off were the bulging bags of produce I saw people carrying down from one street in particular. I gestured down the street and asked a passing gentleman, “Laiki?” To which he replied, “Nah,” which perplexingly means “yes” in Greek.
Found it! Violet and I trundled in with our handy hobo cart, passing through narrow gaps in the crowd to feast our eyes on the freshest produce I’d yet seen in Greece. Huge portabella mushrooms, heaps of potatoes, apples, oranges, kiwis, fresh and frozen seafood, dozens stacked on dozens of eggs. Colorful peppers in green, yellow, orange and red, dried fruits and nuts, lush red tomatoes. Every kind of olive you could imagine. The clementines, grown locally, still had the leaves attached. I wasn’t sure how the tomatoes would taste — surely February isn’t tomato season here — and I tried to ask the vendor if these were hot house tomatoes. Alas, that was too complicated, so he just rubbed the stem, invited me to smell it, then gave it to me for free. Ef charisto!
Violet and I kept walking and walking. At what looked like the end of the street there was a guy selling cleaning supplies. What luck! I still need some of those! (Not so much for me, but for the housekeeper I just hired. More on that later.) I got ready to head back the way I came when I saw the market continued up another street.
Holy crap. This is a farmer’s market on steroids!
This section of the market was devoted to non-food items. Clothes, jewelry, purses. Tools and hardware. I picked up a pair of hedge trimmers — our garden hedge is growing tentacles. I even saw a huge table of underwear and bras. There were some nice looking sweaters and coats, even leather boots. And one vendor sold kids clothes. At 10 Euros for a PJ set, not rock-bottom prices. But I suspect there’s a fair amount of “haggling” at these things. I don’t know enough Greek to negotiate, so I didn’t try my hand at it today.
Totally and completely lost, I decided it best to turn around and come back the way I came. Here was a sight I found interesting:
Piles and piles of clothes for people to rummage through. Each table had a price, usually under 10 Euros. Forget Jumbo! This is where the best deals are! I didn’t get a close look at the clothes — by this time Violet was laiki’ed out and we needed to head home for a nap. But you better believe I’ll be back here next Tuesday. If for nothing else, then to get a MUCH bigger bag of these.
Damn, those are good.