Walking around the market place in Ljubljana today reminded me of what such a place can be. Together with a local friend I could feel the atmosphere better than ever. It was Saturday, so all the small shops were open. It was a load of vegetables and fruit. Some sell stuff from their own farms, some sell for others and some sell things that they get from different Places. The locals know them and pick out their favorites.
There are old friends, former pupils from the Waldorf School and just people that you have come to know after several visits. You greet them and ask how they are, get some news from the family and their lives, smile and laugh and then you go on. A lot of jokes and smiles and you feel that you really belong.
There is all kinds of salads, and they just put them into bags, nothing prepacked. When we come to the «sauerkraut» we must be prepared to stand in a line. But there is only a few in front of us so we don’t have to wait more than five minutes. And the ladies behind the counter are constantly busy taking the sour cabbage in bags of half a kilo or one kilo. I may take a picture and they want to know where I come from. Oh! Norway! Norvesko! Very nice country! Yes, it’s OK to put the photo in a blog! Na svidanje!
Then it’s downstairs to the fish market. My friend has phoned them in the morning to say what she wants, so it’s all prepared for her. More jokes, more fun and more laughter. The fish is different from ours, the octupus, the red fish, the live scampis (!), the tuna but the smell is the same. Some times they phone my friend to say what they have got. Once they called her when she was on holliday on the island og Hvar! Some times they show that this is not for her just with a glimps of the eye or lifiting their eyebrows. Good costumors are precious.
I am reminded once again what we have lost in our country. The big shopping centers make it easier to shop, warmer for the sellers but so much colder for the local society. I understand that it is very hard standing out in the cold in open air in Norway from November to March, but the rest of the year? I remember the market Place in my home town Tønsberg in my childhood. It was big, and it smelled so good! We always bought flowers there and some fruit. Now there is not even fruit and flowers in the summer exept for some Strawberries. It’s sad. Our couragious baker is there every day in her wagon and there is often a line of people who want her bread. But the rest of the square is empty.
We go into the shopping center where we don’t know the sellers and there is no service, everything is packed in plastic…. and it is just sad. There is noone to talk to, noone to make jokes with and you feel very little at home or connected.
I want a living market place like the one in Ljubljana! It will make ur local society much warmer and much more lively. Thank you to alle the people in Ljubljana for showing me their warmer way of life this week!