THE BEND OVER BAZAAR          - 14/9/2010      <--Prev : Next-->

My crazy friend Margot dragged me off to the "Bend Over Bazaar" on Sunday !! Aptly named as there are no shelves or counters, but the goods are spread over the floor and one needs to "bend over" to inspect them !

Most third world countries have these fascinating markets where bargains abound.

HeeHoo was most disapproving needless to say, as a businessman, I suppose he has his sound reasons. No one is really sure from whence where these gigantic piles of clothes emanate .... are they containers of clothes sent to the country by caring but misguided charitable organizations ? Are they containers of clothes off-loaded on to third world countries by giant corporate clothing chains ?

HeeHoo insists this is one of the reasons why our local clothing manufacturers can no longer survive, and while I can see his logic, I can also see that the populace is so much better dressed now than they were before the emergence of these designer garment fests.

Donning sun glasses and an old hat so none of the industrialists could spot me, I sallied forth to see why the rag trade was suffering (or at least that was my excuse to HeeHoo, who is no fool and knew exactly what I was up to !!)

Sundays are quite peaceful at the Bazaar, Saturdays however are a nightmare. The atmosphere is carnival and festive with shop keepers bellowing out their bargain prices and a vivid description of their wares.

Everything from shoes to belts to purses, some laid neatly in rows and on hangers, but mostly just giant colorful mountains of clothing. Some of the "shops" have the protection of a colourful gazebo but most of them sit in the blazing sun all weekend to sell their wares.

One can find all sorts of clothing, jerseys, blouses, jeans and dresses. There is a vague semblance of order, the vast piles of vestments are divided into groups so if you are looking for blouses, they are in one great untidy mound.

Margot has a flair for fashion and the locals know her well, wherever she goes, those with de rigueur know she has spotted a bargain, and sharp eyed fashion conscious women follow her faithfully.

At first I was rather prissily picking up a skirt or a top rather hesitantly, wondering who on earth had worn this before ??

Margot would politely pull a couple of likely bargains over her clothes to show me what they looked like, although she is several sizes smaller than I, so I could get an idea of the informal purchasing procedure.

No changing rooms here, no mirrors and hooks to hang ones handbag !! If one needs privacy, a couple of helpful shop keepers would dump their babies on the ground and form a change room with their towels. All the while peering over the top of the "change rooms", clucking their approval at ones choice of clothing !!

But after a while, I too was squatting amongst the vestments quite unashamedly, tugging and pulling garments out from the bottom of the giant appalachian apparel mounds.

Wow, such bargains !! A beautiful Indian cambric caftan for a dollar, out of season cashmere jerseys two for a dollar !! A seersucker top from Kashmir ......

No haggling here, take it or leave it "my dalinck "

Ooops apologies to our struggling industrialists, you understand of course I did this only for journalistic reasons !!