Life here is cyclical, and so is the world of the piata. The word piata (pee-atza) has become so familiar to me that I often use it as if it were an English word. It actually means 'market.' Here I'm referring specifically to the local farmer's market.
Spring has definitely arrived, and things at the market are coming back to life after the winter dearth. It's so refreshing to see fresh produce making a comeback! To be honest, I was getting sick of onions, parsnips, potatoes and cabbage-- and pickled varieties thereof. In fact, in the winter you can find just about everything in pickled form, even watermelon (which is quite addictive if you ask me). Today I happened by the piata to see what was going on. The weather was beautiful and warm. For a Thursday, things were pretty bustling. The scene would be even more popping on the big market days, Tuesdays and Fridays, when villagers from the surrounding area come to sell their wares.
The first time I ever went shopping at the piata, I went with my colleague from school, Mihaela. She taught me a strategy that I still use today. She said, 'start browsing from the back and work your way to the front.' She told me to do so because producers pay more to rent the tables at the front, and thus jack up their prices accordingly. Therefore, you can often find the best deals at the back tables. Today I found something quite exciting: spinach!! Apparently it just came into season. I bought a whole kilogram without any clue what I'd use it for.
One thing I've learned about shopping in Lugoj is that you need to take opportunities when they come. What's here one week might not be next week (whether you're talking about the supermarket or piata). For example, one of my favorite things about summer are the strawberries. However, the problem is that they come and go in the blink of an eye. They're probably only at the market for a week or so, but when they are, it's glorious.