Friday-Saturday after Ascension Day is traditionally Spring Market in my town. In the past it used to fill not only the main square but also the streets nearby, and was always crowded. I used to mostly keep on the outskirts of it just because of preferring some elbow-room...
In 2020, after the outbreak of the corona virus (and before vaccine), the market was reduced to only a handful of stalls well spread out over the huge square. In 2021 (after introduction of the vaccine), it was expanded with a few more stalls, but still nothing like usual.
Now in 2022, there are no longer any formal restrictions about distance etc. Yesterday I didn't see any ads in the local newspaper about a market though, and I thought maybe they had moved it to some other weekend. But today, there was an article about the spring market being "back", even if still not as big as in the past; so I decided to go for a walk into town and check it out. It was livelier than last year, but pretty much still limited to the main square, and with space between the stalls. I heard some people being disappointed; myself, I felt they'd found a sensible compromise.
There are three stalls I usually look for at the big markets - and I found all three pretty much in their usual spots. So personally, I have no complaints. ;) One is a stall where they sell cheap postcards. That one was back in its usual corner of the square, and I took the opportunity to stock up some new cards. Another thing I often buy at the market is socks - even if that's something that I can of course also find elsewhere. The third thing I nearly always at least look at, is handbags. I've also over the years fallen for many that turned out too small, too big, too heavy, not having enough compartments, not rainproof, or whatever...
This year, at least I had a pretty clear idea what I was looking for (having searched for a while for a replacement for a worn-out favourite). And, apart from the usual compromise of still not being able to find the equivalent of Hermione's bag in the last Harry Potter book (small, elegant, and weighing nothing, in spite of having room for a tent big as a small flat + the major part of the Hogwarts library), I think I found one as good as could more realistically be expected:
Besides plenty of compartments, a zipper around the edge can be used to make the bag a little bit wider vs flatter.
An odd experience at the market today was a feeling of "shopping for free" because I was paying in cash with money that had been sitting idle in a drawer and my wallet for two years. During the pandemic it has become increasingly common (and preferred) here that we pay even very small sums by debit (or credit) card (or using phone apps). Some places don't even accept cash payment any more. But at the market today, no one objected.