Today we played hooky. There is a fair 1/2 hour north of here that Teresa loves; last year Thursdays were her day off from school but not this year, so she had to be a little bit of a bad example to her students (she is a junior high art teacher) and cut school. We intended to have Kale’a back in time to be only a little late for her school (she has to be there 11-11:30) but, no surprise, that didn’t happen. So it was a day off for all of us!
Depending on where you go, there are feiras, or markets, every day of the week. In fact, the words for Monday-Friday are Segunda Feira, Terca Feira, Quarta Feira, etc, meaning second market, third market, fourth market, and so on (Saturday is Sabado and Sunday is Domingo). Today’s market was in Malveira, and had a lot more than the feira we went to in Sao Pedro (part of Sintra) a few weeks ago. We parked in a lot that had about ten vendors selling fruits and some vegetables out of their trucks. We bought apples and three beautiful bright red lengths of chili peppers (they are now decorating our kitchen). Right next to this was the small livestock area, and we browsed the multitudes of chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits. Naturally, Kale’a was entranced by all of the baby animals, and had to be literally torn away, multiple times, from four little scraggly puppies.
The rest of the market was across a sort of plaza, and contained the myriad gypsy wares we had seen at Sao Pedro: cheap plastic toys, random toiletry items you can find at any grocery market, various household goods, sunglasses, and lots of shoes and clothes. My favorite image was of a tall and strongly built dark haired woman loudly hawking her wares while standing up and nursing her toddler. We bought pantufas, or slippers, for Kale’a, pink shearling, and from the other vendors of plants we bought 50 strawberry plants, onions to plant, carrot seeds and 12 small lettuce starts.
I have to admit that being at the market with Kale’a is not the most relaxing shopping experience. While she doesn’t have the wandering tendency that smaller kids have, she wants everything and can be very stubborn. Oh well. We did go to the small playground in the plaza as we were leaving, which was fun. We had one last intense puppy pining episode (I would love to get her a puppy if I could, but besides the fact that we are only here until the summer, there are already three dogs here), which was quickly forgotten when Teresa made a last purchase of two goslings (gansinhos)! Now, I’m not a huge fan of adult geese (gansos), as I am under the impression that they are not the nicest barnyard animals (I like ducks better), but baby geese are very cute, and sweet tempered. The last thing we did was pick up one hazelnut and one olive tree (oliveira) on the way out.
Before we arrived home we got a pay-as-you-go card so that I can use one of the older cell phones (it’s much cheaper here!!) as well as food for the goslings. Teresa was concerned about how the two existing geese would receive the babies, but to our good fortune they took to them in parenting fashion immediately.
The only small downside is that they are rather protective, and Kale’a has been dodging goose hisses all afternoon in her obsession to play with the goslings. I planted the strawberries, lettuce and carrots, and Teresa finished making the tradition cakes, or bolos, for Halloween, o Dia das Bruxas: they have pumpkin, raisins, walnuts and corn flour, are baked in the clay oven outside, and are soooo yummy! I missed the baking of the cakes, as I was doing yoga, but Kale’a conveniently placed some bolo quente (warm) on the windowsill for me as I was finishing.
What a yummy day!
PS we ended the day by singing “On Top of Spaghetti” as Kale’a ate her spaghetti and meatballs and giggled hysterically. I had to dig out my folk song book (?We Sing?) and when putting her to bed I sang a few more, including Scarborough Fair and Over the Rainbow.
PPS Here are a few more pictures of the lovely abundance here:
Happy Halloween, Samhain and Day of the Dead!