Best Curios in Town
Not all curios are equal. Besides, nobody wants to admit to wanting and needing curios - either as gifts or memorabilia. So let us help you make this as painless as possible.
2 ways to approach this matter.
• If you like browsing and are good with bargaining, the street sellers at the Union Building are very entertaining. Getting close to this magnificent building, while picking up some curios, add to that easy parking and you have the makings of a perfect, pleasant afternoon. They are vibrant and friendly and the art they sell does not come from china. But if you have non shoppers and grudging browsers in your group, with no propensity to strolling or photography, stay away. Take the next option;
• On the corner of Pretorius and Kirkness streets, Arcadia, is a little strip mall. Besides the fact that they have the best curios that I have ever seen, there is a lovely little Woolworths (with fresh flowers where you can also get the ingredients for a picnic if you are so inclined), as well as a great place for coffee and pancakes*. The curios here are both innovative, of excellent quality and with the best contemporary variation in town.
• In case of emergency: Oliver Tambo Airport has fabulous curios when you leave. As long as you have lots of time. Do not make the mistake to get stuck in the first shop since there are many. Each as fabulous as the next. And remember that you can not check this in, you have to travel with it. On the other hand if you were already close to your luggage limit, this is the way to remedy that little problem.
*Pancakes: In South Africa, South Africans calls 'crepes' pancakes.
These pancakes are made in most South African households regularly and eaten with cinnamon and sugar. They are not always as wispy and thin as French crepes and definitely eaten with more gusto than any Frenchman can muster ( with all due respect to the French). It is traditional to especially make them when it rains. It would warm up the house since houses are built to dissipate heat and not to keep the heat in as in colder countries. Also rain in Africa is still celebrated for fear of drought and is ingrained in any African DNA. Any kid coming home from school, on a rainy day, will fervently hope to find the warm, welcoming cinnamon smell wafting in their face as they open the door.
It is also the staple of any church bazaar or fair. Woman would show off their dexterity and competence by flipping them in the air to turn the pancake over and handling two pans on gas burners making stacks of pancakes to be sold to eager consumers.