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The Universal Language of Flea Markets

Annex Markets

No matter where you are in the world, when you encounter a flea market, you know what to do; you stop, browse, shop and converse with vendors and other shoppers. Despite whether you speak the same language there’s something refreshing about the language of flea markets that eases the language barrier. The atmosphere is inviting, open and welcomes people from all walks of life.

Modern day flea markets are just an echo of the open air markets that our ancestors were accustomed to. Here are some tips for speaking the flea market language domestically and abroad.

Be Friendly: a smile is a smile no matter where you are in the world. It’s one of the few consistent body languages that communicates the same message universally.

Listen & Learn: there’s always something to learn from either other shoppers or vendors. Just be willing to listen and learn something new. You don’t have to speak the same language. They might demonstrate how something works or guide you to merchandise that they think you’ll be interested in.

Observe: watch how locals are communicating and see where they’re going. They’ll most likely have the inside scoop on what’s worth checking out and what’s worth passing by.

Body Language: be mindful of your body language. Understand some of the cultural contexts behind certain body language to ensure that you’re consistent with what’s culturally accepted.