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Willetton, WA, 6155
Australia

Journal

Up Early for the Markets in Pecs...

Moira Schneider

After a long day on Wednesday, we were to rise early to get to the markets in Pecs (about 30 kms away) by 5.30am.  Pecs is the biggest Romanian town outside of Budapest.  Well we managed to be up early enough for showers & strong hot coffee.  Off we went, passing the most amazing views as we drove along. I did not know what to expect after the wonderful markets and fairs in the U.K.  As we drove into Pecs I was overwhelmed at what I saw - apartment housing like boxes everywhere and bland colourings, a mix of cars in terms of age, lots of buses with people queuing at bus stops at that early hour.  The shops we passed were more like boxed containers..... it has been a very slow crawl economically after the communist era ended, as it was there for so long and its effects are hard to shake off.  There has been progress but once there is poverty it is hard to recover from it.

We arrived at the markets and Maud had the right money for the parking fee as there is order to the way it's all run. We found a spot as close as possible to the exhibitors as we were expecting to be carrying quite a few things.  

Again I was not prepared for what I saw - there were many ordinary people among the dealers rolling out their rugs and mats to sell their wares on - virtually anything, whether it worked or not. There were old wares, electrical goods, paintings, clothing and a lot looked like it was junk: anything to make a little bit of money.  We wandered around the walkways  and Maud spied a number of things she would come back to, but she first went to one of the ladies she knew that she buys Hungarian hand-made skirts and shirts from. These are sought after as the skirts are colourful with scalloped edging. The shirts are almost like painting smocks.  

After some time of choosing we moved back to where there were a number of exhibitors selling particular Hungarian pottery..... the number of pots purchased grew and after filling a large French basket full, as well as carrying some individually, we needed to take them back to the car. We went back again and Maud found a number of different bits and pieces - her eyes are well trained to see things amidst the maze of goods. I was scouting for some sacks (I scored two lovely soft ones from the lady with the skirts and shorts) and then I spied a small brass statue with a holy water crucible attached. It would have been used at the font door of a home. (There is a large population of Catholics in Hungary). I had already seen many Jesus statues in the middle of nowhere - along roads butting onto the fields - these were quite tall and often elaborate. 

As we had been up so early we needed a coffee, so off we went to some little stalls selling an array of food. We stayed with simple food, coffee, and cold, sweet tea. Next to the stall where we bought the food and drinks the vendor was selling lots of deep fried foods that Hungarians just love, but it was very rich.  

We went back to purchase more goodies but not before we went to the ladies toilets - this was a sight to behold. There was a lady in a little kiosk all set out with her books, radio etc and she took the money we had to pay, giving us a ticket off an old fashioned roll of tickets (a bit like tickets used to go into movies, many years ago) so we might use the ladies. It was her job to keep the Ladies toilets clean, and you could see how important her position was. 

After we were laden up, we drove back to the house and on the way stopped for fresh bread and a few yummies.   The day was fairly lazy and in the afternoon I went for a walk around the little village. 

Day breaking as we began the short drive to Pecs.   These photos were taken through the car window. 

Day breaking as we began the short drive to Pecs.   These photos were taken through the car window. 

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Just entering Pecs.  

 

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We arrived to see many people setting up.

 

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A mixed array of goods.  

 

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This stall is where we purchased quite a lot of clothing & linen.  

 

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Very neatly arranged !! 

 

 

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Amidst much there were old old paintings: some as is & some restored ... 

 

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Our simple morning tea - almost like an apple turnover .. 

 

Sorting through mounds of old linen  

Sorting through mounds of old linen  

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An old Mill had been restored & is now a local supermarket where we stopped for fresh bread.  

 

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This very tiny chapel was next door to the mill where it is used only on special occasions. We saw many of these and there was one at the end of Maud's street. The day before we left, there happened to be a special Mass, & so I was able to go along and experience the mass - all in Hungarian.  

 

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Some of the rambly farm homes along Maud's street.  

 

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There are a number of German residents as well, with more recently built homes.  

 

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This is an example of the Jesus monuments/statues that I mentioned - just randomly placed. 

 

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This is the little chapel at the end of Maud's street.  

 

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You can see how old some of these buildings are and there are old barns beside them.  

 

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On reflection if there was more time to get out the paints and brushes - there is such a richness to capture on canvas.