ISSN : 2266-6060



Gouda , August 2013

The wetland intertwined channels, livestock and small winding roads. Here and there, houses remind us that there are still some inhabitants and not just cycling tourists admiring birds. And then, in a bend on the side , we see a small stand covered with a tablecloth and, on it, a basket and a box. The message , though written in Dutch, is simple to understand for English readers: plums are sold for 50 cents per bag . No need to pick them on trees. Here, they have even been sorted, washed and packaged: to go directly from producer to consumer does not imply that the intermediate logistical tasks, technical and sales have vanished.

A sale without a seller, as no sound comes from the house 50m away, and there is not a soul in sight. Nobody to watch how many bags you are taking, or if you put the corresponding amount in the plastic box, which contains the product of previous transactions. Nobody to negotiate its price, to argue about the relative size of the bags , to find out where plum trees are . Nobody to learn about the ways of life here, surrounded by water. Neither exchanges nor escrow, contract, market, tip : a transaction in its purest form, evidenced by this simple writing, through the meeting between hungry passing travelers and fruits left there .