Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
I shall miss the oyster sellers being on the street everyday. They have been positioned near the supermarket all through the holidays. Christmas Eve was busy, but by New Years Eve, they all looked exhausted. Their hands were red and sore. We had ordered our oysters in the afternoon, and were told to return to collect them by 7.30 at the latest. The oyster sellers would be packing up to make the long drive home to the Cherbourg peninsula.
I got there just after 7. There were many people ahead of me. I stood in the rain and the wind and I waited for my turn. The deep shelves behind the tables were piled high with big platters full of oysters. The platters were covered with tin foil and a name was written on the foil. Inside the foil, oysters were laid out on a heaped bed of seaweed. Each one had been opened and the top shell had been replaced so the oysters were still sitting safely inside their shells, ready to be eaten as part of the feasting celebration.
I was handed our platter of two dozen. People around me were getting platters full of 5 or 7 dozen and some people had such a quantity that they were given two platters. I had a hard enough time carrying my single one, which was about 2 1/2 feet in diameter. I only made it a few steps down the street before I had to stop and place my platter on top of a waste bin. I closed my umbrella and tucked it under my arm. That made the carrying easier but I was drenched when I got home. EVH