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The Market: Exact Change and Other Small Victories


It happened!  I understood German and paid in exact change at the market!  The kind woman selling local root vegetables said, “Drei Euro sechzig,” and I handed here 3.60 Euros.   Woohoo!   And then I paid in exact change at the olive stand, at the coffee cart, and at the butcher’s stand.  I even ordered ten eggs and understood the spunky little old German man who sells eggs with his massive live rooster perched next to him on the table….yup, that’s normal to me now, even though it reminds me of the scary owl from the Secret of Nimh.  During my sabbatical, I am appreciating the small things and this, to me, was a huge thing.  Also a huge thing – my medium cappuccino cost 2.20 Euros.  And its considerably more delicious than any $6.00 caffeine at Starbucks.  I love the market.



The Eggman.   Goo goo g'joob.

The Eggman. Goo goo g’joob.

Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, local farmers, grocers, butchers, cheese makers, florists, and other vendors gather in Mainz’s Marktplatz to sell all manner of fruits, vegetables, olives, stuffed peppers, cheeses, meats, fresh eggs, flowers, herbs, wines, honey, coffee, spices, you name it.  It’s a beautiful sight.  The market has quickly become part of my routine here.   The night before each market day, I dream about the fresh produce I want to pick up and what I’ll make with it.  It’s where I practice my German, get to know the local, seasonal veggies, take in some fresh air, and enjoy the community.  I loved the farmers’ market in Dupont Circle, but I rarely went because I was spoiled by the variety, selection, and hours of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway (grocery stores in Mainz are not open on Sundays).   Also, I loved Whole Foods.  I know its yuppie and over priced, but I love it.  The only thing that comes close to (and often beats) Whole Foods over here are the local whole foods sold at the market.  The Mainz market is about five times as big as Dupont’s, and offers a selection and prices that are unbeatable by any of the local grocery stores.  It’s also right outside my door.   Did I mention that I love the market?


I am obsessed with brussel sprouts.

I am obsessed with brussel sprouts.

Local root vegetables

Local root vegetables



not local...

Not local….

what are those???

What are those???

Already looking forward to Friday’s market!   If you’re looking for more, too, click here for a great post about the Mainz market by my friend, Erica.


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I'm an American living in Mainz, Germany and, after a a one-year sabbatical from office life, working as a corporate lawyer in Frankfurt. While living in Europe with my fiancé, my goals are to see as much art, taste as much food, and experience as much life as possible.

4 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Hooray for exact change! I remember that first victory 🙂 you go girl, it’s only the beginning! Wait till you can ask how to cook certain things properly!


  2. Colleen, I am sitting here with Mom mom Marguerite. We are celebrating mom mom’s birthday by eating Smith Island cake and reading your blog. Per mom mom: ” I did not know you were an English major. Your writing is great. You and Stephen make a handsome couple. It is hard to believe you and Stephen were in all the places we’ve only read about. Happy 29th birthday! I love you! Mom mom Marguerite”


    • Thanks, Mom! I’m glad that Mom Mom likes my stories. I think I got a “B” on the only creative writing piece I submitted in college…it was a satire about squirrels. I thought it was awesome, but my professor did not. Luckily, Art History was a much more forgiving major.


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