Yesterday, an article by Times Live stated that Johannesburg is the unfriendliest city in the world. It made my blood boil, because I could think of a million other cities that are not friendly – hey, the whole conflict in Gaza comes to mind, not very friendly there, are they? There is also this inter-city conflict between Joburg and Cape Town about who has the best city – and we all know it’s both right – but CT ended up 8th on the list of friendliest cities on earth. PAH! Just ask someone who has lived in Cape Town and they will tell you how utterly clique-driven that city is.
Also, I don’t think the survey-conveyor has ever been to Joburg, or to any of its markets for that matter. Want to see friendly people? Go to a Joburg market! Or a dog park. Heck, just stand in an effing queue at your local shopping centre. We are a happy city and its people are full of smiles. We like flirting in traffic, smile at the beggars and their funny tricks, chat to random people almost anywhere – heck, it’s like we are a small Free State dorpie, damn it! And we LOVE our dogs, collectively, as a city. We take them everywhere – parks, restaurants, fairs, markets. People who love dogs cannot be unfriendly!
So take back your inconsiderate survey! And come to a Joburg market! The other day, we went to the Fourways Farmers Market, across the road from Montecasino, and what a real treat this was. I enjoyed getting out of our cold house and into the warm winter-sun. Sometimes, a little sunshine is all you need to lift your mood.
We had to park quite far from the entrance and I overheard a lot of people walking towards the market that it has never been that full before. Perhaps it was the combination of Christmas in July, or the Motherland band that was launching their EP that drew the crowds, but when we entered it was packed. Families were plonked everywhere, kids were running around, people were having some awesome craft beer and even better food.
With more than 50 stalls – most of them food-related – the market is a quick way to get yourself out of cooking Sunday lunch – winning. And with tasty delicacies including Philly Cheese Steaks and Pulled Pork Ciabattas, it also kept my husband very happy (he loves American cuisine). We also loved being able to taste almost everything before we bought it – from the sweet chilli halloumi, which was out of this world, to the guava jam and chilli sauces. We walked away with this big jar of guava jam and it has taken a lot of restraint to not eat the whole jar already. The problem with tasting as you go, is that you are too full to eat proper food at the end.
At the stall where Flip got his lunch, a pulled pork sandwich, the owner of the stall gave us some ribs as tasters – while we were waiting in the queue. I dropped my ribbetjie, but the owner was more than happy to offer me another one. And was that meat tender! It was scrumptious!
There were quiches and fudges and cookies and biltong and everything you can imagine under the tents. Another special touch is the Maypole Ribbon Marquee, which looks like Spring all year round, the haybale sitting areas, the beautiful plants everywhere, the kiddies play area and of course, the friendly people! We were having such a jol watching the band, it was really vibey and people were dancing and cheering and just being all round awesome.