The Market at Manning

It’s not quite the same as an Indian bazaar, but the Saturday farmer’s market on the Clontarf grounds on Manning Road reminds me of weekends at home.  On Saturday morning my Dad will drag out the Vegetable Shopping Bag – a large tote bag that sits under a shelf in my Mum’s pantry. On a good day, he will convince my brother to go with him to Colaba market where they will buy fresh vegetables, fruit, and perhaps fish.

The market at Manning is not very different, but not quite the same. Parking is nearly full when my Chinese friend Joey and I arrive, but Clontarf is not Colaba and several elderly gentlemen are directing the cars to empty slots. The market is only open from eight to noon. The farmers have arrived in utes and the stalls are temporary. There are quite a few bread stalls, florists, and plenty of food. The bread looks lovely, but the prices would make you weep. The Koeksisters offer bratwurst (a Dutch/German sausage?) – my Namibian and German friends would love this. Joey and I settle for crepes. I’m having apple, cinnamon, and maple syrup on mine.

The Aussie Way: Keeping the sun at bay

There are craft stalls too, selling quirky buttons, wooden brooches, and egg-shaped candles as it’s the Easter season. An old man is playing Cliff Richard’s “Living Doll” on the guitar. One of my Mum’s favourites. Does he know I’m looking for a birthday gift for her? Unfortunately, there’s nothing small and light here that a) will fit into an envelope b) is cheaper than dirt c) will not be swiped by Mumbai’s postal service.

Market Music – A singer plays old favourites at the Manning Farmer’s Market

We spend a pleasant hour wandering from stall to stall. There are plenty of people about. Some of the buyers are serious bargain hunters. Others are just out for a morning with the family. I spot quite a few dogs – the kind that comes on a leash. You won’t see that in Colaba. When we finally leave, we are full of stomach and empty of hand – a little lighter in the pocket too. The guitar man is playing “Travelling Light”. He certainly has that right – and this never happenswhen my Dad returns from Colaba Market.


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