Getting ready for La Braderie de Lille

Tomorrow we are heading for the, dare I say, world’s biggest flea market. The Braderie de Lille in the little town of Lille welcomes over a million visitors every year to 48 hours of Moules Fritt (mussels and french fries) and treasure hunting on the streets of Lille. So far it looks like the weather should be dry with moderate temperatures.

Which is good news because the tradition is to dump the mussel shells on the road during the Braderie to see which restaurant can get the biggest pile. The thought of walking around the streets in high temperatures past piles of steaming stinky mussels shells makes even a hard-core thrifter like me wonder if H&M wouldn’t be a better choice.

The market opens at 2pm on Saturday and runs (non-stop?) until 11pm Sunday night. Because the vendors are on the street they recommend that you bring a flashlight for night shopping – because I suspect that is when you get the best deals and hopefully a little less competition.

So the headlamps are packed, tote bags tucked and small bills made ready for some advanced negotiating. Let’s hope that my school french is up to the task Combien? and Quel prix? are the only words I can muster now and with my luck the little German I have learned will hop out at the worst possible moment. Or I could use the phrase that has proved useful at the German flea markets Cuánto cuesta?

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