Heading out of the city on Marine Drive, in the direction of the West Coast, lies the industrial neighbourhood of Paarden Eiland. As with most such areas, this one is not terribly attractive by any stretch of the imagination. It lies sandwiched between the breakwater; that hides a perfect view of the ocean, and the N1 heading to the northern suburbs. It’s the kind of place that I try my utmost to avoid.
It is here on a stretch of open land between the ocean and Marine Drive that somewhat informal market sets up on Saturdays and Sundays. It fits the locale, a motley congregation of scruffy cars, rusty trailers, faded gazebos and large sheets of tarp spread out on the ground. The trunks of cars stand open to reveal home-baked goods or old LP’s, from trailers are sold boerewors rolls, cinnamon pancakes and dried fruit and nuts, anything from fresh fruit to fake Rolexes can be found under the gazebos, and on the tarps are displayed pieces of second hand furniture, kitsch old bits of home décor and battered power tools.
Though it does not sound like the kind of place one would want to visit on a grey and miserable Sunday morning, it is exactly what we did this past Sunday. Although the market sounds miserable, it is a bit of a treasure chest of old South African style and antique pieces if you know what you are looking for. And most of it available for a steal. It is here we picked up an old piano stool I re-upholstered (something for another entry), two camp stools and some retro kitchenware.
Only a couple of traders decided to weather the chilly wind and wet earth to set up their stands, and so the market was sadly pretty empty. But not without some great finds. While stepping over muddy puddles we spotted a set of teacups and saucers. The saucers actually match a plate we picked up at the market months ago. We asked about the price, it was not much, and decided to walk around a bit more and think about it when the trader called us back with a lower offer, the equivalent of US$5. It would have been rude to say no.
On the way out we picked up a non-descript, yet funky, metal teapot for brewing the leaf tea our friend James left us before heading back to the UK and a little side table. As soon as we got home and washed our new tea items I brewed us a pot of hot Earl Gray, settled down in the living room and enjoyed our new treasures from Paarden Eiland.
* Thanks to X for the pictures of the market, taken on a much more pleasant day earlier this year.