Tuesdays are very cool here in Merate because it's market day. It's the same thing each week - a convoy of fold out shops on wheels thunders into town before dawn, each setting up shop in their designated spots for the morning.
It's an exhilarating feeling to stroll down the street towards the cacophony of smells and sounds that is the 'Tuesday Market' here in Merate.
Once you're in, it's all encompassing. The smell of fried seafood dominates the air. Shop owners bark salutations and move in swift action. Patrons are happy and engaged in conversation, especially if it's good weather.
Look out, there's another beggar around the corner shoving his hat towards you. Hey, what do you know, the weird guy covered in paint is standing on the box again. Still making creepy kissing sounds at everyone? Yep. He is. Don't look...Don't look.
I find it interesting the niches people have chosen for themselves. Some tents are traveling drug stores. The prices are cheap and they do well it seems. Then there's the guy with wicker baskets and other woven-ware. "He's been in the same position for over 20 years," Cristina reminisces to me. He's not exactly hopping with customers.
There's a tent full of shining cookware focusing hot beams of light on passersby - Two trucks bursting with hardware and power tools of all kinds.
Swords - like, limb chopping swords are displayed for children of all ages to see and touch.
Then there's the section of the market that is all food. They set up shop in the local grocery store parking lot. It's all hopping here. Here the smells are strong and it bustles with activity. Three fruit stands seem to be doing well, despite close proximity to each other. Why does that one sell birds as well? Huge chunks of cheese are cut with wire. Salami. Prosciutto. Calamari. Fish. Shellfish.