It’s becoming a meme, I guess, at least of this blog – the notion that Joburg, and South Africa, is a study in contradictions. Creativity and enterprise flourish, the place is dynamic and happening – but it is also a dead-end of fraud and corruption, crime and incompetence. There is warmth, love, vibrancy in human interactions, across race, creed and class – and there is sullenness, indifference, even hatred. The glass is half full, and at the same time half empty.
You get the idea.
One of the creativity, love, enterprise happenings happens once a month, on the second Saturday, just down the road from us: the Parkmore Field Market, at Field and Study. It’s an odd, and oddly pleasing little neck of the woods, a stream or creek flowing alongside William Nicol, one of Joburg’s major arteries, with trees, open fields, stables and a paddock or whatever they call it for show-jumping. If you walk there on the weekend, as we did, you are likely to see small children being led on horseback across the field and down to the water.
This being Joburg, of course, what you also see, on the opposite bank of the stream, is a scattering of rough shelters, plastic sheets spread over branches, homes to the unemployed and homeless.
The Field Market, on the other hand, is a homely treasure trove of jams and pickles, olives, handmade soaps, craft beers, clothing, jewellery, art work.
Here are some photos.