One of my favorite pastimes is finding the local open-air markets in a new city.
A quick search on the internet brings up “Mercado Itinerante de Productores.” The site describes a market with only locally grown fruits & veggies as well as cheeses, breads, and other goodies. It sounds like a Jane place.
It’s a Saturday market that changes location each week. Our first Saturday here, I headed out to Plaza Easo with my new cart (more on the cart later). It was a perfect excuse to navigate the city with a destination in mind. The route took me along the River Urumea, through some posh neighborhoods which opened up to the lovely Plaza Easo.
But NO market.
I knew my mistake instantly. This was the second Saturday of the month, not the first, classic Jane mistake; reading something too quickly.
One little mistake isn’t going to stop me from finding the Mercado Itinerante de Productores. I pull out my phone, get online and find the location for the second Saturday of the month. I enter the plaza into Google Maps and I’m pleased to see that this plaza is on my way home.
Dutifully, I follow my directions which take me to a street with only apartments. No plaza. I decide I must have made a wrong turn and wander around the area looking for the market. About now I’m thinking this market has an invisibility cloaking device and then I have another aha moment. I bet it’s in another town.
Sitting on a bench in the shade, I get back online, and yep, this week it’s in another town. There’ll be no Mercado Itinerante de Productores today. Next week it is.
The third Saturday of the month arrives and with a spring in my step, I’m off to the market. I get to the street and… no market. Now I’m sure there’s a cloaking device. Where is this frickin’ market?
Oh, vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. Once again, I find a bench in the shade, pull out my phone, check the website and I read, “Penultimate Saturday of the Month.” I thought perhaps this is the name of another town, but I’m also confused because Gros, our neighborhood, is listed as the location.
“What does penultimate mean? It can’t be a town.” A quick bit of research and it means … the second to the last. The market is the second to the last Saturday of the month. There are five Saturdays this September, so NO market, it’s next week.
I regroup, collecting that spring in my step, explore Old Town, and enjoyed a few pintxos along the way.
So, on the penultimate Saturday of the month, I finally experienced the Mercado Itinerante de Productores in Gros. I bought a tasty local honey and a few other products. I now know the secret to the magical cloaking device and will return to Plaza Easo on the first Saturday in the month of October. That will be Oct. 6th, right?
As for my new cart, I have officially become a cart lady. I walk the streets of San Sebastian with my fashionable black cart in tow. I just got tired of lugging groceries. Having a cart is “a thing “ here. Most women, young and old use carts. I’ve even seen a few men pushing one. My new cart might just be partly responsible for that spring in my step, especially on a trek home loaded with groceries.