The main drag is closed and booths are set up for about a quarter of a mile. Booths selling stuff—yes, little make due shops! Joy to the world. I celebrate with a glace (ice cream cone) for breakfast.
There are Savoie cheese vendors, sausage and jambon vendors, vendors selling a variety of juices made in the region, arts and crafts booths, a booth selling beer made in the region, wine booths, a booth selling Auvers posters with Van Gogh paintings he painted while he was here, a bakery booth, and my personal favorite, a booth selling framed bugs and butterflies for a mere 10% of the price I’ve seen them sold elsewhere in the states or Paris.
An ooompapa band plays in the background as the tourists and natives wander the streets. Fortunately, only a few are in period costume so I don’t feel out of place or like a party poop.
I ask a few people qu’est ce que c’est cocagnes and most people shrug their shoulders. A few people answer, but I don’t understand a word they’re saying. Where is the French lesson booth when you need it?
My economic contribution is to buy two Auvers Van Gogh posters which I figure will be a nice memory of my time here and will look lovely on my refrigerator box wall when I return to the states. I also get a bottle of cherry/apple juice, a bottle of award winning Biere du Vexin (which is quite good, I must say), a delicious cheese and a small salami. There goes my grocery money for the week. But when I think about it, I’ve got all four food groups covered: dairy with the cheese, meat with the salami, fruit with the juice and grain with the beer. I’m set.
Everyone is jolly and friendly, although I don’t recognize any of them from Auvers.
All in all, it’s a lovely fete. And I think I’ve figured out what cocagne means: tourist trap.
Filed under: Auvers sur Oise, culture, food, dining, fine dining, french cuisine, france on a budget, french culture, learning french, tourism, travel humor, Val d' Oise Tagged: | Auvers sur Oise, fair, fete de la cocagne, food, France, french culture, Living in france, street fair, tourism