One of the most interesting adventures while visiting some countries is the local weekly markets. These markets are often held on particular days of the week, usually the weekend. Farmers bring their local fresh produce to sell, bakers their bread and pastry, and restaurants food and drink items. However, these markets are best known for items made by the residents, who make some extra money while spending the day with their families.
We visited a Saturday market in the suburbs of George, one of the most southern cities in South Africa. This was a medium size market where everyone knew everyone, so our entrance in the market was noticed. Fortunately, we were accompanied by our South African friends who took us on a tour around the market. Of course, we could have done this on our own, but when it was lunch time, and with a wide range of food stalls, they were quite instrumental in finding the best that the market could offer.
Although I love food, my favourite remains the art and crafts stalls. In these sections, local artists, especially women, exhibit handmade items that include clothing, paintings and my favourite, jewellery. The material used to make these handmade jewellery, often come from recycled material which render them reasonably priced. There are also more expensive items, I have to admit that my most beautiful custom jewellery, do come from such markets.
I met a woman who was making sandals with vibrant colours, I took some time to have a chat with her while I tried different pairs on. When I told her where I lived, she was excited and said it was the first time one of her handmade sandals would travel that far, she told me: “You know what? My sandals will go to places I have never been to.”
I left the woman while thinking how lucky I was, being able to travel all over the world, and pick such memories in every part.
As I walked out of the shoe shop, the strong smell of barbecue or what is known as brie, tickled my nose, our friends picked one of the best restaurants with a lovely seating arrangement. Here, like in most places, it was a family affair, the father and elder son were roasting the meat, while the mother was preparing the potatoes and garnish. The two younger members of the family were helping in serving and clearing the tables.
As the sun was setting, we left the market back to George, hands laden with shopping items, a happy stomach and a happier mind, I just love local markets.