What the Frip?

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            I don’t know what that name is, an acronym? an abbreviation? French?  All I know is that the Sunday Frip is an institution here in Tunis and from what I understand, all over Africa.  It is a massive outdoor flea market selling football fields of used European clothing, some odds and ends household items (plastic scrub brushes, non brand-name batteries), and then local farm produce.  It’s hot, chaotic, and you’ve got to pack around anything you buy, but the possibility for scoring awesome finds draws thousands of people out every week.
            My men deserve a lot of credit for mustering up the Frip spirit this week.  It was almost painfully hot, but they still found some interesting buys.  Gabe got some excellent flip-flops.  Anton found these sport shoes that he tried on with a plastic bag for a sock. 
He also found an English copy of CliffsNotes for Huckleberry Finn.  I’m thinking he may have been the one and only potential buyer for that item on that day, but he had to let it pass.  
            I have no qualms about getting involved, elbow-to-elbow, with the ladies pawing through the tables of clothing, sorted by type (i.e. ladies long-sleeved t-shirts).  My favorite table, however, is the linens where I have scooped some of my favorite thick cotton and linen dishtowels, many painstakingly embroidered by someone practicing needle skills.
            The rest of our Frip shopping was spent buying food.  It is as close to a farmers’ market as Tunis offers and the prices are a fraction of what they are in other shops in town.  Plus, it’s a good chance to practice a little French and smile at some of the charming vendors.  But watch your wallet, just in case.

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