I had long wanted to set foot in the city of Marseille. Finally, the opportunity came when a friend, Caroline, invited me to visit his home town in February. Although only had one day to explore the city located on the coast of the Mediterranean, I could feel Marseille is different from other cities in France I have ever visited. Population is different from the birth place of warm blend in the form of food, building, languages, and hospitality.
February should be the height of winter. However, the sun shine warm enough in the town inherent in the stories of Napoleon Bonaparte and footballer Zinedine Zidane’s. We decided to enjoy the pleasant weather it by venturing into the market Le Marché de La Plaine.
Yes, the market has become a hallmark of Marseille. The geographical location of the city and warm climate make the merchants in the city easier to get fresh food. Not only fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and fresh fish, traders also sold in processed form, such as cakes and breads.
However, there is nothing more special in the market which we are headed. Held in the open square in the Jean-Jaurès, the market commonly referred to La Plaine also sells a variety of winter gear, accessories, perfumes, cosmetics, toiletries, leather shoes, and other goods at a cheaper price. If you come here in January-February and July-August months which are the changing of the seasons, usually lots of vendors selling goods at bargain prices.
I was amazed once when he saw a variety of beauty products from France that is circulating in Indonesia is sold in this market with a much lower price. Although placed just on the shelf, scenic beauty products were still tempting me. Handmade bath soap typical southern France, Savon de Marseille, as well as mascara and eye liner made in Spain which is not sold in Indonesia, goes straight into my shopping bag.
Once satisfied shopping cosmetics, the journey continues. Still close to the area of La Plaine, I found the vintage stall items that seemed to bring into the setting of the film Notting Hill. The shop that sells vintage and classic stuff, one wide-rimmed sunglass just looks like model belongs to Jackie O. If purchased in the boutique, the price can be more expensive five-fold! At this kiosk, the average price of goods is not more than 100 euros. The salesman was no less eccentric, a middle-aged man with a neat style shaggy shoulder-length white hair slicked, plus wide glasses and smoking a pipe attached to the lips.
As the largest commercial port city in France, Marseille is offering a unique shopping pleasure. Not a few tourists were more happy shopping tour in cities than in Paris which is famous for designer goods. Finding a shopping place as it is one of the advantages of traveling with the locals (who like shopping) as Caroline.
Browsing the market began to open up my view of Marseille. Before, I think this city is a city mafia, a breeding place of thieves and thugs. In fact, the aura of the city is actually reminds me of the warmth of the towns characteristic of the Mediterranean, such as Italy, Greece, and Turkey, who have ever visited.