Khaled Hosseini’s flea market

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The San Jose Flea Market, made famous by Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, is not far from where we are staying in California. One of the reasons the book resonated with me was because of the author’s connections with Silicon Valley, where I grew up. I visited the flea market as a child, and remember the stalls, often manned by families.

The San Jose flea market is very different today than in the 80s. It now boasts more than 2,000 sellers and 40 food stalls.I imagine Baba and Amir’s stall was something like this one.

You can get anything at the flea market. This seller supplies everything you need to sew!

This is the ubiquitous toy used stall.

Underwear is another popular item.

These boots looked very cool. Authentic.

This Marilyn Monroe textile was hanging in a carpet seller’s stall. I thought it would look fab on a wall framed.

There were a few pinata stands. Mr. Potato Head must be there because of Toy Story 3.

These christening dresses are very popular in Mexico. Little brides of Christ. Aren’t they gorgeous?

The flea market is known for food, and there is a large farmer’s market. I had never seen watermelons so big … or so affordable. I just couldn’t lug one out of there.

You can also purchase cactus leaves. I’ve never tried them, but apparently the taste is similar to green beans and they are often added to scrambled eggs.

Where’s your favourite market?

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  1. Baby Genie
    04/09/2012 / 10:40

    When I saw the words flea market I was over like a shot! Wish it was a little closer to Henley/Abingdon! Looks amazing and I really want to get Bear some little cowboy boots!

  2. Mari
    04/09/2012 / 09:07

    I loved The Kite Runner and seeing these pictures has made it come alive again. I could spend many a happy hour there

  3. Susanna
    26/08/2010 / 15:19

    so am I!

  4. knackeredmother
    24/08/2010 / 11:41

    We’ve just had a week of French food markets…I seem to be a few pounds heavier! Have fun on your hols! x

  5. Vegemitevix
    24/08/2010 / 10:45

    Those watermelon look amazing. Reminds me of markets in Auckland – Otara springs to mind, with a wealth of Polynesian food and fresh fruit and vege.

  6. Lisa
    23/08/2010 / 23:47

    What a great connection. I loved The Kite Runner for invoking some memories of my hometown, san jose/bay area also.
    It has been YEARS since I’ve been to the SJ flea market! Whatcha think, is it worth going back?

  7. Susanna
    23/08/2010 / 15:39

    Yes, very curious as to what they feature

  8. Susanna
    23/08/2010 / 15:38

    I’m with you on the French markets…

  9. Susanna
    23/08/2010 / 15:38

    That should be your tagline … more than just a mummy

  10. Susanna
    23/08/2010 / 15:38

    Cactus leaves in Kansas, really????!!!

  11. Susanna
    23/08/2010 / 15:37

    I honestly have never seen any so big! Am enjoying my summer I have to admit.

  12. 23/08/2010 / 12:01

    OK, you’ve inspired me to get down to our local farmer’s market in Moscow and take some shots…

  13. Baby, Buggy, Boat
    23/08/2010 / 02:40

    I love any small town French market. All that cheese and no apparent regard for health and hygiene!
    I have to say, your market looks amazing and you have made me want to read The Kite Runner again as I realise there is much of it I have forgotten.

  14. 22/08/2010 / 20:04

    Gosh, how cool are those boots. I love Portobello Market, and I can’t wait to be back in a W-something postcode and make it my weekly shopping mecca again.
    PS: Thanks for your comment on my ‘about’ page. Of course, mummy blogs rock. I love having a mummy blog and I am proud to be a mummy. But also, I am more than ‘just’ a mummy, and I wanted to give some lovely PR folks a subtle hint to stop bombarding me with baby wipes to review. Fortunately, life is about more things than baby poo…

  15. Iota
    22/08/2010 / 18:35

    Ah, you’ve reminded me of something from my early days in the US. The first time I went to the grocery store, I saw cactus leaves among the produce. It felt so exotic! I promised myself that I would find out how to cook them, and then one day, buy some and cook and eat them. Something to add to the list of “things I would never have done if we’d stayed in Scotland”. I have yet to do so.

  16. 22/08/2010 / 18:06

    All these California posts are making me rather jealous! Sounds like you’re having a fantastic time! 🙂 I adore flea markets! Khaled Hosseini’s looks fab – those watermelons are HUUGGEE!