Friday, November 13, 2015

Our trip to the Camberwell Market

Spring has sprung in Melbourne and the weather has been really...interesting. It vacillates between amazingly beautiful sunshine and blue skies, and apocalyptic rainstorms. But there have been enough wonderful sunny days lately that I'm beginning to think Melbourne's reputation as a perpetually grey, rainy city is a nasty rumor.

One such wonderful weather day was last weekend and since the Mister and I have been spending a LOT of time just sitting around our apartment since the school semester ended, we decided to get out and see something. A friend of ours had booked a stall at a Sunday market so we thought we'd pop over and say hello.

The Camberwell Sunday Market is an institution among Melbournian flea market enthusiasts. It is sponsored by the local Rotary Club and is held in the parking lot of a shopping center close to the city. It is easily searchable on Google maps, but after Ty and I got off the tram, we were maybe 10 feet from the red locator on the map but all we saw was a busy street. Till Tyler spotted an unassuming sign spray painted at the opening of an alley. "Market."

"Think it might be that way?" Tyler said.

I must confess that the Mister and I are not big flea market/garage sale/consignment sale/clothing swap patrons. None of the clothes will ever fit us (especially me, who hasn't seen a single digit on her clothing tags since seventh grade), and since we pack up and move every two to three years, unless the interesting tchotchke is so unique that it can't be resisted, I just don't get a rise out of finding a one-of-a-kind fridge magnet or hair barrette.

I completely understand the appeal, and if I had a permanent residence I would Pinterest the crap out of this souvenir spoon collection and find a way to work the dismembered doll leg in there, too. 
Having immunity to used goods came in handy on Sunday because Ty and I need to be pinching our pennies until we can find more steady work, so this outing was a temptation-free interaction with the outside world. And boy did the outside world ever show up!!

I was very impressed with the hubs and how he handled the whole situation. He normally doesn't like to be around big crowds, but he was indulging me because I love markets like this and just looking at all the cool stuff, especially when it is people's collections. I like to see the kinds of things people hoard collect and this market was not short of eclectic collectables.

We did find a couple of stalls that had these ADORABLE kangaroo and koala bear bookends that they were trying to pass off as vintage treasures. I immediately found at least 4 boutiques selling the same mass-produced-last-week-but-made-to-look-old marsupials online through a quick google search, so I'll keep that knowledge in my back pocket as a post-first-big-payday gift to myself. Although one stall was selling them for $75 like many of the websites I found, but another stall had them for $25, so here's hoping that second guy is there the next time I hit up the market. I think that's what flea market shoppers call "the joy of the hunt," but frankly this is why I usually stick to stores: I know what I can find and where I can find it when I want to find it.

But I digress. I'm making it sound like we had a miserable time at the Camberwell Market, but that's not true at all. I love people watching and window shopping and, on days like last Sunday, being outside so it was a delightful morning outing.

There were even buskers, like this trombone quartet called "The Mel-bones."
At the end of the morning, we saw our friend who had rented a stall from afar, but she was super busy with shoppers, so we just said hi in spirit. We left the market with a $1 book purchased by Tyler and headed to the Target at the nearby shopping center for a glamorous purchase of shampoo and cat litter. It doesn't get more thrilling than this, folks. I'm sad to disappoint those of you who imagine our lives to be exotic and exciting in the Land Down Under. Sometimes the expat-turned-grad-student life finds you as a thirty-something discovering joy in a Sunday spent at the flea market with the man you love.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Vicariously yours,

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