South Africa


If you want to know a country and meet its people as they really are, go and find a street market in London, Amsterdam, Berlin or New York.  You will see it all, right before your eyes! It happens in South Africa as well.  Do you want to experience the Rainbow Country and its people, at their most festive and charming, make your way to the Arts and Crafts Market at Greenlyn, in Pretoria.

Entering the gates on a typical Saturday morning, you find yourself walking into a food market with stalls catering to every conceivable taste and thirst. The real treat, however, is wandering through the arts and crafts market, together with thousands of visitors, local as well as from overseas, discovering the beauty and the colours of South Africa.  Walking up and down the lanes – Pepper Lane, Willow Lane, Acacia Lane or Garden Route Lane – you may browse at more than seventy stalls. And the children? Mum and Dad may drop them of at Piccolo Lane with its many games and famous water fountain – guaranteed to keep them busy and entertained.

A wide variety of crafts from all over South Africa as well as from other African countries is on offer. While admiring the multi-coloured paintings and elegant sculptures, you may be able to talk to the artists themselves, who will gladly discuss their works with you. For the ladies and the girls there are gold jewelry to admire, together with colourful beadwork, copper bracelets, beautifully painted cloth, as well as hand crafted porcelain. And for the men and the boys there is a variety of home-made wooden guns and slings, leather work and exquisite, soft, Nguni-skin carpets. And, if you have to send a letter to your mother in law, paper made from elephant dung may come in handy! For the health-conscious, a number of stalls are devoted to herbs and medicines and creams, for every taste and every ill.

The heart of the market is the Brooklyn Theatre, where local as well as international artists regularly perform. The theatre and its productions are lauded by many as an important contributor the weekly South African musical calendar. Often on a Saturday morning visitors to the market are invited to a Limelight Concert, where budding artists and youth choirs demonstrate their skills during 20-40 minute programmes. The iSalon Music Shop, part of the theatre complex, boasts the largest selection of classical, popular-classical as well as Jazz CDs and DVDs. And if you are searching for sheet music or for instruments, from a simple recorder to a grand piano, this is the address you want.

For a taste of South Africa try sosaties (meat on a skewer); vetkoek (deep-fried dough with various fillings); koeksisters (deep-fried plaited dough with syrup); gourmet boerewors (farmers’ sausage) rolls; and biltong.

In terms of international cuisine Indian, Thai, Mexican, Portuguese, Dutch and American-style barbecue can all be sampled. Then for dessert there’s home-made ice cream, waffles, muffins, brownies and old-fashioned treats such as toffee and fudge.

Because it is designed to be a family-friendly experience, the Hazel Food Market does not sell alcohol. Instead you can choose from fresh smoothies and juices, home-made iced tea and locally roasted coffee.

The Arts and Crafts Market at Greenlyn is at the corner of Edison Street and Mc Kenzie Street in Brooklyn, in easy access from the main traffic arteries in Pretoria. The market is wheel chair-friendly and dogs (on leash) are welcome. Market hours are Saturdays from 08:00 till 14:00. Once every quarter an evening market is held as well.

Dutch croquettes from De Kroketten Man and Poffertje Queen

He found some amazing comics from 1995.

Alexander wears sunglasses by SomeDaySoon via CookieDoughBoutique and a shirt by Scotch Shrunk.