HOPE and COCKER-ROACH ON PARADE

This week in Cape Town……

Saturday morning at the City Bowl Market, no 14 Hope Street, formerly house of Zionism, Jehovaism and an Indian Temple. Most yummy time I’ve spent in a place of worship since post-Sunday School sandwiches. In the hallowed hall’s new incarnation, with perimeter of stalls selling all things irresistible – pesto dippings, chocolate chippings, berries, beef and Guinness pies, French macaroons – zut alors! – this is fellowship more hedonist than Zionist – though the straw bale central seating did have an away-in-a-manger feel. Way less sardinesville and much more chilled than the Biscuit Mill in Salt River – plus parking – an urban market option to earmark.  Leaving behind the beautiful people on Hope – head down to The Grand Parade in the shadow of old sister City Hall, in search of cloth for curtains. Now here’s a Cape Town space of note.

Hair braiding, Gatsbys guzzling, headscarfed Hadija’s selling homemade stretch shifts, mini mountains of faux fashion from China, cheap ‘underwears’, two for the price of one, cheeky on rails and a dodgy character selling ‘cocker-roach powder – only fife rend’ elbows his way through the heat-sleepy crowd. Next to the haberdashery man and wife selling infinite buttons and pink knicker elastic, trestle tables groan under bargain bolts of faded, fleecy and faulty fabric, nostalgic nylon that’s been in, out and back in vogue again a million times. Options are limitless, spoilt for choice – but it’s a bit too hot and hard to decide. So we leave empty-handed, but make a note of the cheap cocker-roach muti, for next time.

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