Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Little Piggy . . .

. . . went to market. Parklea Market actually. There's growing interest in 'growers markets' where you can buy fabulous home grown, home made, organic, fresh and pesticide free. They're trendy and the sort of events that are held locally once a month. If you're late, you miss out on the fresh home baked bread, home cured bacon and organic tomatoes which taste completely different to the commercial stuff. These markets attract the middle class, the alternative, the vegetarians and those who just love to tell you that the olive bread they bought is much better than that produced by Baker's Delight (actually it tastes exactly the same) but there's kudos in going to a growers market.

Then there are the 'craft' markets. These vary widely in the quality of their goods. You can buy everything from fantastic quality wooden toys (that children incidentally never like to play with) down to those awful floral handtowells with crocheted edges, or toilet roll and tissue box covers. I'm not a fan of these as much of their merchandise is either over priced because it's 'hand made' or simply so gauche that you wouldn't be seen dead sitting on a loo with a pale green knitted toilet seat cover and matching mat.

Then there's the carnival of carnies. The mother of them all. The copycat King . . .the large permanent rented-stall and undercover markets. In Sydney we have three. Paddies at Flemington which during the week is a genuine wholesale market and great for flowers and veg but during the weekend it turns into one of those copycat T shirt, mobile phone cover, tiger rugged, cheap perfume 'what the hell is that toy' and 'who the fuck would use one of those' markets. There's another Paddies in the city, same vein but has a direct factory outlet above it which is great value if you're a size 8 and don't mind last year's fashion. Then there's our closest. Parklea Market.

Just around the corner, on the site of an old drive-in movie theatre looms this enormous white colourbond building. Around the perimeter is carpark and within, the most amazing (not in a good way) conglomeration of rip offs and bric-a-brac. In this den of eniquity you can have a Chinese massage if you don't mind being a tad public (16 at a time). You can have your Tarot or fortune read . . . Eat the worst of junk food, fill the kids with fairy floss and barter with Chinese and Arabic store holders who smell as if their entire diet comprised garlic cloves.

It's frequented by the choicest of Sydney's West and here my snoberry kicks in. The working class, Tongans and Maori, Lebanese and the Caucasian poor. The thing is, these people aren't wealthy, far from it, but they spend so much money on frippery and lounge around the foul smelling place eating dagwood dogs and kebabs. Again, the fruit and veg is cheap, fresh and good quality but any place that has pets and cheese in the same aisle?

Happy children wonder out of the darkness with pink twirly things and glo-sticks or barking clockwork puppies on wheels when they could probably do with a few new books or a little tutoring in maths

So how did I find myself there? . . .I went with ClareBear because there's a guy who has a stall who does laser and vinyl prints on T shirts and she wants a one-off as a thank you to her soccer coach. It's close and cheap but man what an experience. Although I'm slamming it here, it is a good place to buy say, cane laundry baskets, essential oils and incense or pet supplies but I want to know who buys:
  • Large synthetic rugs with pictures of Elvis on them
  • Yoda bongs
  • Copycat perfume
  • Rubber breasts with silicone filling (I kid you not!)
  • Chinese lace tablecloths
  • Plastic clogs
  • Replica African artifacts (plaster Giraffe and Elephant legs and Tutenkhamun heads)
  • A plaster wall hanging of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist
  • Bright pink and blue mother of pearl door streamers
  • Dream catchers (made in China of course)
Seriously, in 20 minutes I saw people buying this stuff.
The worst part . . . I have to go back today because the printing man couldn't read the artwork file we gave him . . . . I think I'll just drive around while Clare goes in . . . This little piggy won't be going to market any time soon.


Jefferson Davis said...

"pets and cheese in the same aisle?" Hmm...You best be careful not to purchase a muttburger. We have a market downtown that sells resplendent flowers during the week, and "art" pieces on the weekend. You can imagine the difference. I've picked up a few knick knacks. :)

Grannymar said...

For years we had an open air market on Sundays at Nutt's Corner, not far from Belfast International Airport. It was very popular, everywhere else except churches were closed for the day!

Every second customer among the hoards were plain clothed police. They were checking for and recovering stolen goods. None of them came away empty handed!

S.I.D. said...

Hi sent me here.

Strange that..

I went to my very first car boot sale today.

What a load of crap.

I bought.

Baino said...

Hi SID. Hope you come back now and then! Clever of me that. If I can work out how I did it, I might get a few more on board. Car boot sale eh . . . Sucked in!

Baino said...

JD: Knick knacks . . .a euphamism for 'clutter' in my world. Flowers are good tho
GM: Yep, we've had blitzes on faux brands too but I know if they're selling them at a market stall . . .they're fakes alright.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Hmm, sounds a lot like home! I've taken to avoiding the markets though, I seem to come back with all sorts of stuff I never knew I wanted...