Bridget had never been to the market in her home town of Freemantle so we decided to have a look. It is a cross between a farmer’s market and a swap-meet but located in the “old town” district. The old town area looked like an old western town and aside from the electricity and the paved road I would have almost expected to see a stage coach pull up. What used to be the old town saloon, hotel and retail shops are all now restaurants and bars.
Inside the market itself I found so much ticky-tack tourist stuff that is almost a requirement to bring back after a trip down under: brightly colored boomerangs, those big long musical instruments that the aboriginals blow into and make deep bellowing sounds, postcards and a whole lot of bad clothing and jewelry. I mean really bad clothing. It seems like somebody emptied out a container of clothing from India and they were trying to pass it off as leisure wear. I suppose that some pot-smoking tree hugger could get away with wearing this crap in Portland but it was really dreadful. And much of the jewelry was a lot of the same stuff I saw selling in EVERY market in China. Australians: just because it is expensive where you live, don’t turn to buying imported stuff that is, well it’s just crap.
I’ve seen some odd things in markets before and the strangeness varies from region to region and on that note I shouldn’t be surprised to see Kangaroo jerky for sale. But what threw me for a loop was that the jerky in question was marketed as Roo Ribs. I was tempted to try some when the merchant informed me that all of the products on the table were for dogs. I looked up and sure enough, the Roo ears, ribs, feet and all other parts of Kangaroo meat were designated for Fido.
Just outside the market a street magician entertained children. He seemed to have a mixed act that included juggling (flaming objects) and he even tried at comedy (heckling tourists who walked away from his act). As with other parts of tourist Australia, everything was overpriced and the whole place was full of tourists. I suppose I am a tourist but I am looking forward to breaking out of the tourist zone and getting to see some more of this huge country.
After a long afternoon of shopping and sightseeing we headed over to the marina to the Little Creatures Brewery. I’m not sure where the place gets its name; Little Creatures is an actual brewery that has a restaurant and beer house thrown right next to the brewing vats. I was most impressed with the huge volume of business this place was doing. The entire place was packed to standing room only, the beers were $8 a piece and a small pizza ran a little over $25. And still, the entire place was full of eating and drinking patrons further highlighting the strength of the Australian economy. A day or two later I heard two Australian news anchors commenting about the US economy saying it was in a Shambles. That’s right Obama/Congress, just keep spending – soon it will cost $2 US for one Aussie dollar.
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