It might sound somewhat odd from someone who is particularly ill fitted for both haggling and cooking (I have an impression this blog is slowly turning into a litany of all the things I can’t do), but I have an irrational love of markets. Not that I buy much, see probable reasons above. I simply love to idle around markets, looking faintly scientific, like a hawk inspecting its prey, or a little old lady deciding on the quality of courgettes, but actually only taking in the minute details of microcosm unfolding under my eyes.
It therefore fills me with a world of joy to have the Hunyadi square market a stone’s throw away, and nothing beats going there early on a Saturday morning, when everyone is still filled with great plans, and the produce is fresh and shiny. This I know purely from eavesdropping, as, bringing shame to generations of my fellow Aradians, who besides haggling are also brilliant at magic tricks such as telling the quality of a watermelon by tapping it, I am also deeply puzzled by vegetable and fruit.
My basic rule is therefore to buy stuff of little old ladies and gentlemen, and if they are charming, which most of them invariably are in Hunyadi, I will end up with crazy items I don’t really need, but those lovely people just really wanted me to have them. Today I was strong and passed on the spinach and fresh onions, but I am the proud owner of a quantity of radish fit to feed a rabbit farm.
All of Budapest’s markets also have the usually male seller who decorates his little universe with footballing paraphernalia, often of rather mind bending clubs- now if I happen to like the club, and for example Celtic does have my fancy, I will buy off them too. I will even go as far as to wait in the endless queue of the guy with the Juventus flags in his stall (that’s in the Central market, for anyone interested) and come to rather wild conclusions as to how the supported club’s quality influences that of the items on sale. Long queue means good items, just so that you know.
Last but not least, the hall accompanying Hunyadi market is one of the few which has not yet been restored, and therefore sports that shabby Socialist charm which has been expurgated from the more mainstream ones around the centre. They are nice, tourist friendly, with sleek wood, hipster bakeries, and Instagram friendly desserts but they are simply not alive in the way good old Hunyadi is on a sunny Saturday morning.
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