Sometimes, even when you try really hard and think you have shown lots of initiative, things don’t work out. Not much you can do after the fact, except identify problems, learn from your mistakes and focus on any positive aspect, however incidental and/or non-income generating it may be.
What I’m building up to here is the story of yesterday, when the Jam Tarts tarts packed up all their goodies and went to the Baxter Food and Goods Market to sell their wares. I thought it opened reasonably early so I was there at 8.30 – but that turned out to be a whole two hours early. It’s Cape Town, remember – chill, man! Luckily I had packed myself a little picnic, so I sat on a bench in the sun and ate my cheese sandwich and drank my coffee. A picnic for one. That was probably why the church people were looking strangely at me. (His People hold services in the Baxter auditoriums on Sundays, it gets quite hectic in there). Maybe some of them thought to pray for me to find a friend.
The rest of the day was a blur of non-performance. We set up and, by 3.30, had set down – with not one sale. People stopped, chatted, commented, complimented, but not one of them showed us any money. We think it may have been due in part to a lack of advertising (it’s still a very new market, lots of people have never heard of it), and to a student–earning person ratio of about 97 to 1.
On the bright side: we made new friends:
Matthew, on our right, with his leek soup and chocolate brownies
and Penny from Tristam And-them Magnes with her amazing rizla portraits and plastic ankle warmers:
Please also take note of the extraordinary Indian rubber tree under which Penny is sitting. It is the biggest and oldest one in the sub-continent, and houses more elves and pixies than all the other rubber trees in Cape Town put together.
And how’s this for a non sequitur: when I was a student at Wits University in 1979, I lived in the same block of flats in Braamfontein as Bruce Fordyce. He swapped me his Debbie Harry album for my Arlo Guthrie. He kept a snake in a glass cage and fed it a live mouse once a week, but the really funny bit is that he also had a rubber plant – called Durex. That still makes me laugh.
To be continued…