Unless you’re a real minimalist, chances are you need to get rid of household junk, unwanted books, bags, shoes, clothes and that those lampshades or other items you don’t want to give away, but aren’t worth too much. What better way to dispose of them than renting a table at a local community market day, after all a small investment of Dhs 50 bought me a table and a legitimate shop space between 2 and 6 pm last Friday 28th of October. My table was one of almost 100 tables laid out in a horseshoe shape at the back at our school field in Dubai’s Arabian Ranches.
The market day organisers decided to adopt a Wild West theme for the day as maybe they feel we’re all on a new frontier of sorts. The day seemed to go well and was a success for attendees and stall holders alike. The advantage of having this kind of event in a private community means there is a high likelihood of seeing your friends and neighbours with whom I enjoyed a catch up chat and some even bought bits and pieces from my stall. But while stall holders had to be residents of the community anyone could come and buy from us. Buyers came in all shapes and sizes with hugely different buying power. From the Philipina and Sri Lankan maids through to well-heeled expat families from all over the world, it was clear everyone loves a bargain. Kids spent ages rummaging in our book crates and it was heartening to realize reading is alive and well in Dubai, if a child struggled to come up with the required Dhs 5 for a book, then I just gave some books away or added a third for free if a particularly nerdy child bought 2.
But what amazed me was to see a child of around 8 who desperately wanted her parents to buy her a book (well-known children’s author, no one controversial) and they flatly refused, expat Westerners, I couldn’t make out the language though, equally surprising was the amount of haggling that was done by ladies dressed in full designer gear who wanted a discount on text books that I was selling for Dhs 10.00, (in great condition and bought originally for around Dhs 100)
The stall next to me was run by a large family who luckily for them were selling only unwanted designer goods including Louis Vuitton handbags and well tailored suits as well as a brand new foot spa and some racing bikes. They also seemed to be doing a roaring trade as some items costing Dhs 150 each were sold just as the market opened! I was definitely the poor, understaffed relation by comparison and sadly do not have any designer handbags to sell despite living in Dubai for 5 years.
I was thrilled and amused in equal measure, thrilled that someone bought some hugely heavy encyclopaedias for Dhs 10 each and amused at having a long conversation explaining how a spelling game worked only to be told that perhaps it was after all too advanced for the baby of the lady in question ! I agreed readily.
Exhausted and sweaty at the end of the day, my car took back a much lighter load, the day was a brilliant opportunity to stop and chat to neighbours and friends and take a closer look at Dubai society, if any one would like a spelling game and can collect from the Arabian Ranches, please let me know, well done Emaar for trying very hard. Perhaps the stall holders next to me thought it was Upmarket Community Day !
Leave me a comment about your thoughts on Community Market Days and how you think they could be improved, thanks and do share this post on facebook with your friends.