Saturday, February 23, 2008

homemade goods obsession

Today's been fairly creatively stimulating and work un-productive.

Last night, I strutted off into the Centurion evening to a club just off Old Johannesburg Road near where I am staying. Sadly enough, the night of dancing, ended at 12 midnight with a power failure in that part of town. Double Downer (the DJ had no idea what he was remixing), to say the least, but certainly can't be a particularly profitable night for the venue. Well, at least I got my dancing feet moving again.

The next morning, I decided to venture to the Irene Market at Jan Smuts House. Twice a month (1st Sat and 3rd Sat), the diversity of wares are displayed throughout the space surrounded in high shading trees. I was impressed by the range of over 300 stalls of home-made wares, cultural display of cuisine and fun to be spent in Irene.

What did she buy do you ask? Well, first off, a beautiful handmade doll from Vicki's Kid's Stuff (+27 82 806 8401) for R80 or $13. At this booth there were nappie bags and other baby wares. I then stopped at this booth which made these incredibly innovative purse made with a zipper. Pam from Dizzy Zippy (Yvonne: +27 83 248 2376) greeted the passerbys by rolling out this zipper and then zip around and around until it becomes a purse. It's fantastic. Their product ranges from small pencil cases to school bags ranging in price from R40 - R 150 ($ 6.50 - $25).

For lunch I had some Portuguese Rissois near the entrance for R7 ($1) and a 100% real orange juice for R8.

In the beginning, I cruised through the food section only to find some delicious Acacia/Eucalyptus raw honey (R30 or $5) produced in Irene by Bees Knees (+27 12 667 2372 or On the label, it states unheated and unfiltered: “Nature's Best for Connoisseurs off the Comb with all its Natural Pollen” Then next to the honey booth, was the Mustard Shop with some homemade tasty Sweet Basil salad dressing (R20 or $3.40) and DELICIOUS olives mixed with peppadews (R30 or $5 for small plastic container). yum.

My highlight of the market was passing through south africa's history in images. Post cards and other products from digitized material of a man's artifact collection passed down by his father (former professor of Anthropology). A beautiful collection converted into post cards, birthday calendars and tin cans. The Colonial Heritage (The Reed Foundation) boasts of “100 year old postcard & photographic reprints of Old Colonial and Republican South Africa) +27 72910 1661 / +27 82 884 9989. I was able to score some amazing images (R10 or $1.70 per postcard or R70 or $10 for birthday calendar) of the Bluff, Durban with dated shots of 1435 and hear the story from Thatcher and Amber about the infamous Rickshas in Durban when they first arrived from Japan in 1892. Today, most people recognize the ricksha on Durban's ocean front as a tourist trap or the raddest part of surf classic, Endless Summer.

stoked on the visit and will definitely try to go back. Highly recommend arriving there between 8:30am - 10am otherwise feel the wrath of the longest line-up to the market. Parking is R5.