Monday, August 23, 2010

Samatan, and the living is easy

Saucisson vendor, Samatan

On my irregular outings to various markets with Jean, I usually have two not-so-hidden agendas. One is to make a terrible pun about the place names we encounter along the way. The other is to insert a musical earworm into her brain so that she’s humming something unlikely for days on end. Of course if you can do both at the same time, then it’s a total win for the day.

We visited the large produce markets at Samatan a week ago, and it struck me that it sounded like Gershwin’s Summertime –  as it might be sung by South Park’s Cartman. That definitely lodged itself between Jean’s ears. Last week, she challenged me to come up with something for Samatan’s conjoined twin town Lombez. Nothing really worked until the night of our village fête, when the performers did a version of the Cranberries’ Zombie, which proved to be fittingly and annoyingly memorable: Lo-om-bez, Lo-om-bez…. At the very least, these mnemonics make recalling the geography of the area much easier.

I took Munson with me on a solo trip to Samatan this morning, although I didn’t take many pictures. Juggling Munson, and a few large bags of produce along with a camera doesn’t work too well in crowded markets. The eagle-eyed amongst you may spot the kangaroo sausages (next to the donkey) on the market table above.

Munson - Lac de la Gimone

I had to stop in at the abbatoir at Boulogne on the way home, but arrived just after they’d closed for the two-hour lunch which is common in this part of the world. I still forget to plan my day around the potential three hour hole in the day between 11.30 and 2.30 when most businesses are closed. Mondays and Fridays are also a bit dodgy for some, and so with Saturday mornings the only regular traded hours on a weekend, you really have to build your most important shopping and commercial interactions around the mornings and late afternoons of the middle portion of the week.

Munson was the winner from my bad timing today, as we were only 15 minutes from the lake. You can see how happy he was about that.

Munson at lake, beach in distance

P1020913 Stitch ice

In the evening I joined Brent, Jean and les jeunes Munsoneers for drinks and nibbles at our landlords’ place across the village. There I was challenged to try some Austrian rum (does this mean it’s cellared for twenty years?) , Stroh 80%, which besides being 160 proof alcohol, is laced with vanilla and other spices … and as I now know, SHOULD NOT BE DRUNK NEAT. Jean has captured some of the faces I pulled on film, but has yet to share them with me. The first couple of sips were like a reverse botox, as my upper lip completely disappeared into my mouth for five minutes. It’s like eating a christmas plum pudding where the pudding part has been removed, and you’ve still burnt the top layer of skin off your lips. I’m sure it’s wonderful in cocktails and pastries, but … eek!


  1. If you aren't smiling after looking at THESE pictures, there is SO something wrong with you!

  2. Anonymous7:27 am

    He wasn't smiling when he was tasting the Stroh rum!

  3. I would be as happy as Munson with a lake like that to swim in too!!

    Those sausages look scary.