China City, Bruma
Oooooh, but I do love a good bargain. I thrive on it. And who is known for providing us town's folk with cheap and cheerful goods that pass in appearance as "mall-standard"? The Chinese, of course.
China City, situated opposite the Bruma Flea Market in the East of Johannesburg, is a haven for unconventional shoppers like myself. I can't justify spending a lot of money on shopping and I like to find interesting and unique items too. This is why China Town is ideal for me, and you. It's reasonably priced, although it's slightly more expensive than the CBD, and it's something a little out of the ordinary. You can wander through the aisles of this indoor market and find anything from coats, furniture and shoes to Herbal Sex Tea - whatever that is - and traditional Chinese medicine. There are party shops which sell themed dress-up items and décor too. There is a lot of junk on offer too, but you need to learn to look past that.
The clothes bought at a Chinese flea market probably won't last until next season. Their colour will run in the wash and the lower quality stitching will pull out over time, but who cares when you paid less than half the price for them than you would paid in any boring store in your conventional mall. The variation of different styles of clothes is also why I love that place. The garments are really unique, but not in an "I can't get away with wearing that" type of way. What I mean is they are not the usual generic clothes you find on store shelves. There is always a little bit of extra detail added or a different fit to be found.
Have I mentioned the food yet? Obviously there is a food court set within the market which serves the most delicious Chinese dishes, done the right way. You can take a break from your shopping frenzy and spoil yourself to a proper Chinese lunch. You can sit at the plastic tables and chairs set out and simply dig in. The Chow Mein and prawns were especially good. If you need to eat on the run, I suggest the spring rolls, done to perfection, but take a few serviettes because they tend to be oily… in a good way.
I only visit China City once in a while, but when I do I usually leave with armfuls of packets. When you need it to be about quantity, not quality, China City is the place.
Address: Opposite Bruma Flea Market, on the corner of Ernest Oppenheimer and Marcia Avenue, Bruma.
by Kelly Kidson