Monday, June 10, 2013

The Fleas of Tongeren

You don't travel to Europe to find things you have back home.  No McDonald's for me, even if they do serve beer.

Among the things the Old World has and we mostly do not is, surprisingly, flea markets.

Oh, I am sure they are still around in the States somewhere, but the advent of ebay and a general disinterest in history has trimmed them way down.

But in Europe they are very much alive and well.

Flea Market, or Flau Markt is the generic term.  In France you find them called Brocade Markets.  In Germany a somewhat lower end version seems to be called Trodl Markt.

I had heard about a rather fun one in Tongeren, Belgium.  It was a convenient stop off for us on a Sunday morning....

The market runs along the outer aspect of the city wall on its east side, then in on several side streets.

Garish ceramics seem popular.

Creepy garden decor and advertising items.  I think the Coca Cola guy's head has a hinge on the side.  Not sure what is in there.  Interesting to see decorative "arts" that have not been Disneyfied into homogeneous, bland forms.

What a mixed array of stuff!  Saints and a baby Jesus from a (hopefully) decommissioned church are sharing floor space with a stuffed leopard head!

I confess to being a sucker for taxidermy.  And the Tongeren flea market had a ton of it. Check out these stuffed boars....some were as cheap as 60 euros!

I love the wonky eyes on that last one!

In the end I decided that bargain or no, a boar's head was just about the worst idea for air travel packing.  Bulky, tusky, hard to explain to customs....So I settled for a small medallion that I found at a militaria dealer

I am totally gonna wear it at our town's Oktoberfest, even if it is a Belgian Army commemorative item.

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