I landed here in Johannesburg on Thursday night and I planned my first Sunday as exciting as I could do. In the first three days, I extensively read about the city on the internet and took a liking for the different names that add to its vibrant demeanor – Jozi, Jo’burg, Egoli, Joni, Joziburg, Joeys, JHB, etc. Next I explored the places closer to my apartment and gradually picked on the city’s historical significance, much talked about skyline and the colorful urban youth culture. And by Sunday, I was all set to spend the day just as the Jo’burgers do. When I heard it from the locals that the outdoor market bug has really bitten Jozi in the last few years, I was curious to find out what made the outdoor market thing so trendy in Jo’burg. Fourways Farmers market topped on the list. This and more such markets have been doing really well here because they push people to come out of their homes, sit with friends and enjoy Sunday mornings over food, music and some craft beer.
Sunday in Johannesburg
I got up late and by 10, I was already apprehensive of find a parking at the Fourways Farmers Market. By 11 we were out of our hotel apartment and by 11:30, we were there right opposite Montecasino (It is a leisure and entertainment destination covering 26 hectares of land located at the Montecasino Boulevard in Fourways). The farmers market is spread over parts of the Earth Outdoor Living Nursery. Many people prefer parking their cars at MonteCasino and then cross the road to come over to the market. Initially we thought we would do the same but when we drove in, we were lucky to find space right opposite to the queue where everyone waited for their chance. Once inside, there was a ticket counter on the right where we had to pay 10 Rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) per person. It was a quick thing and we were part of the Sunday fun in a jiffy.
They say if you want to see the friendly culture of the city, go to a Jo’burg market! Aaah, I think they say it right. The place was full of adults, children, food stalls and more. Well, I had imagined it differently but what I found here was great too. I had thought I would get to buy fresh fruits and vegetables here but what you actually find here is lots of stuff made from organic and local produce. The jams, the sauces, the dips were in plenty. As far as food was concerned, one was spoiled for choices. Since, this takes place in a nursery, one gets to see some fresh lettuce, celery, eggplant etc. The Farm Barn was a cute place to sit over stools made from hay. It was a treat to see the kiddos have great fun climbing over a mini-tractor and making paintings in a beautiful ambiance.
After a cursory glance into the countryside setting, I walked into the different lanes that spoke of more than 50 stalls. I was excited to check out each and every stall and I did that too. My friends were also having a great time and I could see they were eyeing food and drinks sections. For once, I thought vegetarian food (my gang wanted this) would be a problem here but trust me we found enough to keep our taste bud entertained. What I really liked about this whole setup was that it was a great way to plan a morning or an afternoon outing with friends and family. There was music, there was craft beer, there was variety in food, there was a children’s corner and there was enough space to sit and make conversations. What more can you ask for? May be, a bright and sunny day made it a perfect Sunday getaway. Its winter here and the temperature has been as low as 5 degrees last week. It was not just me, even the Jo’burgers were happily enjoying the sunny day.
And now I must take you through the food and other stalls…
And, if you have been CRAVING for FOOD, the WAIT is over….
Till 2 p.m. we stayed in the farmers market without even realizing that we were there for more than 2 hours. We not just ate but we ate a lot. We tasted some chicken, some pakoras, some falafel, some craft beer and some Churros. I bought a fresh Jalepeno paste to add to my pasta sauces. And then we made our way to the Monte Casino Birds Garden (Next post will be about that). It was a Sunday well-spent with the locals, absolutely like the locals love to do.
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