January 30, 2002
First you see the cafes and restaurants to the right facing the square right off the canal, and observer all with menus chalked on small framed blackboards, MUSSELS, A-framed doubled sided menus quoting the expanded daily menu with all the hopeful owners beconning from doorways hoping to intice the customers to choose their cafe. Really hard choices to make with Waffle Wagons, Wurst Wagons and Roasted Chicken Wagons sending wonderful smells our way from the entrance near the Nordzandstraat. Herded together near the perimeter, one Waffle Wagon clustered with other food wagons near the perimeter quelled our hunger pangs as we delved into the melee. You got to try this, a fresh baked waffle about 7 inches by 4 inches with all those little deep seated crusty brown squares to hold the strawberries (or chocolate or whatever) and a little sugar, then lots of whipped cream (real cream), and then more berries with sauce and all handed to you with a tiny napkin.
Clothes, coats, sweaters -- rows of them -- hang front of tents and on tables piled head high, dresses in all fabrics and textures, then the nighties, make-up, carpets, plus notions, toys, car mats, knives, kitchen ware, And let us not forget the carpets. Miles and miles of them. Turkish, Oriental, small, long, short, round, oval. Sorry no magic carpet.
At the end of The ''tZand, the market takes a different turn and spills on to Boeveriestraat and into the Beursplein. This my kind of market, plants, fruits, vegetables, and white nectarines, which I have seen before, but never this size. Tip here! when you wish to buy, you tell the vendor which product and they will choose and put it in a bag for you. It''s politically incorrect to handle the produce, any of it. The market quacked, honked, squealed, chirped, was beautiful and lively, with brocolli, lettuce, apples, onions, (a supermarket outside)spilling down stands in the sparkling sunshine, to the tune of live animals for sale, parakeets, pigs, chickens, surrounded by vivid bouquets of fresh flowers and potted plants.
As we gathered our pickings for our picnic by the canal, the crowds parted and cheering began as a beautifully dressed bride and groom strolled hand in hand from the local church and took a tour of the fair as vendors offered them samples and honored then with token flowers. They politely posed for us. After giving them our congrats, we smiling, took our booty to the nearest park bench along the canal and indulged.
From journal Bustling Bruges