Monday, March 15, 2010
Bargain Hunt at its Many Wondrous Markets
Chances are, when you're visiting Australia, Sydney's the first place you'll be landing at. After all, Sydney is the first port of call for ships and is home to the major airports in the world. Of course, you simply must tour the unmissable and spectacular Sydney Opera House, and the parks too, and the museums—with matching photos and footage caught on cam. But after that, what's next?
It's time to hit the markets, mate! Here's a rundown of some of the finest and most flocked markets in the city.
Bondi is most famous for its luminous beach and amazing waves. But when you're not doing any surfing/sailing/swimming, you might want to consider the good 'ol Bondi Market to catch up on your shopping. Bondi Market has just about everything in one go. Bargains abound there, from knick-knacks to second-hand books, from kitchenware to carpentry tools. As the cliche goes, there's something for everyone. And there's also always a friend to meet and get to know, fellow shoppers and shop owners. Just be conscious of how you spend; you'll realise soon enough you want everything on site.
The Balmain Markets has that frenzied bazaar air, just like Bondi. Regularly held at the grounds of the local church, the Balmain Markets are an eclectic and dizzying collection of pre-owned goods. Figurines, boomerangs, pottery, hand-knitted merino wool, leather boots, books, booze, etc, etc. (Yes, there are booze too, of course. Although in Australia, beer is called piss.) So when you're done shopping, grab a hearty lunch at any of the cosy bars and pubs within the market, and be prepared for the Big Burp.
This is Sydney's biggest market so far, although somewhat more mainstream than the Bondi and Balmain markets. More new items are sold here than the used ones, sometimes directly coming from the retailers themselves. But because there's no overhead costs of shop rent, they manage to keep their prices pocket-friendly. The Paddy's Markets is the bargain-hunter's mecca.
Sydney Fresh Markets
Of course, the best thing about being situated right next to the ocean is the fresh catch of fishes. And you can be sure all of Sydney's great restaurants and wondrous chefs know how to transform these wriggling, fresh-as-fresh-can-be seafood into a gastronomic carousel on your plate. How do you say sumptuous and mouth-watering, again? Or if you want, you can bring home a fresh catch yourself straight from the market and whip up a nice recipe no cookbook can ever reproduce.