Friday, September 5, 2008

Flea market season is on!!

Flea market season is basically fall and spring in this country. There's very little activity in the winter, which I presume is due to the weather, and extremely little in the summer, because the majority of flea markets in Norway are hosted by elementary schools, and thus will take place in the school year. And of course it's hardly ideal to have a flea market when a significant portion of the customer base can be assumed to be out of the country or at least out of the city. Oslo is, unsurprisingly, the flea market capital of the country :-) ... but I'm hearing good things about other cities too. I've just never had the chance to visit any out of town flea market. Oh, and when I say Oslo, it's not just the city itself, but also its immediate hinterland; most notably the two wealthy municipalities Bærum and Asker. Lots of great flea markets in Bærum; I grew up there, so I know. ;-)

Here's today's total non-surprise: I LOVE flea markets!! :-D Flea markets absolutely totally rock. Some people get the chance to give their old stuff away instead of just throwing it out, other people get the chance to buy stuff they need/want/like at a great price, and the money goes to a very good cause. (Schools normally host flea markets to benefit their marching band/choir/sports team ... so the money you spend go directly towards something very wholesome that the local children participate in. :-) And because there are so many people in this country these days (and especially in this part of the country) who have more money than they know what to do with, a lot of really nice and newish/new/brand new stuff gets given away. The Salvation Army in this country get clothes in their collection bins that are designer-type clothes with the labels still on them. :-o So you can actually really make a bargain. And of course there's always the great entertainment value in just wandering around and looking at the crowds ... and of course, checking out the merchandise and trying to imagine the kind of interior design setting the more outlandish items may have belonged in. Fun for the whole family. :-)

Anyway ... I will no doubt be going to a number of flea markets this fall, and I plan to post some shortish review type things of each here. One post per f.m. :-) This will just be my own thoughts & opinions, from my POV - I look primarily for books, either to read and BookCross, or just to 'Cross. Sometimes to keep if I find a real gem. I also normally look through most of the rest of what's on offer - furniture, kitchenware, knickknacks etc ... clothes I normally steer away from as I tend to hardly ever find anything I like and I have too many clothes anyway. (Sshh ... ! you can't have too many books!!) So keep in mind where I'm coming from; a flea market I like may not be good for you if you're not looking for the same things as me, and vice versa.

What's the point of doing this - well, some of my readers may be interested, I don't know. :-) Mainly though these school flea markets are a regular thing, each school will normally have a flea market once or twice a year. And I'm having a hard time remembering, except for a few cases, which I've been to that have been great, or good, or so-so, or lousy, what were the price levels, etc. So this will be a help to me to try to figure out which are worth revisiting the next time they come around (it's as good as impossible to get to them all, especially when, like me, one doesn't drive).

Hopefully this may be interesting to others as well, but I'm not holding my breath. ;-)


Paz said...

In Milan and Paris there were great Flea Markets, i hate shopping but would loved to have spent hours there but there were other little things to see like Last Supper, Louvre etc. The Milan one was espeecially nice as I was there at Christmass and it was lit up.

Anonymous said...

I love flea markets and jumble sales, always great things, i love books and kitchen items mostly from them, but now looking for fabric

Leisha Camden said...

Paz: Shopping in regular stores is one thing, and at flea markets another ... ;-)

I've never been to Paris (yet) and when I went to Milan we didn't have time to visit the flea market - I was there with my family, to celebrate my father's birthday, so we had to do what he wanted to do, and we also missed our flight and had to take the train down (yes, really!!) so we lost half a day of our time there as well. :-( But if I ever go back I will definitely see the flea market! :-)

Tracey: I know what you mean, it's so much fun just to look through everything and see what treasures you can unearth ... :-)