You know me, I couldn’t have passed up an opportunity to wander around a flea market as much as I could have refused a cup of coffee. So, when I heard about Sunday Soul Sante, Bangalore’s ‘most loved flea market’, I was prepared to emotionally blackmail anyone I knew in the city to come with me. Sunday Soul Sante is a mixture of art, music and shopping – there are over a 100 small stalls from which you can buy anything from feathered earrings to embroidered boots and small bonsai trees to gorgeous glass lamps, a food court with everything from Hyderabadi biriyani to delicious mini-cupcakes and tumblers of sangria to cool pitchers of beer and with live music playing throughout the day.
The day of, The Reluctant Girlfriend, Orei and I set off for the market quite early. Fats was slated to play a slot and we wanted to get there in time to watch her sing. We reached the venue, paid Rs. 100 for a ticket and walked in. Sunday Soul Sante is a riot of colour, noise, scent and texture – it’s a delight for the bohemian soul.
As we were quite early, the crowd hadn’t swarmed in as yet, giving us the time to walk around leisurely into the stalls – which is exactly what we didn’t do. Both Orei and The Reluctant Girlfriend were in dire need of munchies, so we headed straight for the food court and had some mouth-watering barbequed chicken and bread, washed it down with a couple of pints and then devoured 15 cupcakes amongst us.
Then we headed over to the stalls. There was a lot to choose from; funky earrings, dreamcatchers swaying in the wind, handpainted wooden stools,birdcages, colorful dresses, quirky lanterns and lampshades, antique clocks, flamboyant bags, little gold figurines, bookmarks, hats, garden ornaments, hats, tarot card reading etc. There was so much too choose from, I was a bit overwhelmed. Flea markets are no place for inexperienced shoppers, which sadly, Orei and TRG are, so I was pretty much left to rummage through piles of clothes, jewelery and other trinkets by myself. In the end, I only bought one tee, but I’m pleased enough with this purchase to make up for my disappointment in not buying anything else.
Fats sang for half an hour, with covers of Norah Jones, Gnarls Barksley, Maroon 5 songs and an especially well-received version of ‘Titanium’. The only annoyance was the extreme heat. We were standing in front of the performance area, just dripping with sweat. Orei and TRG, like everyone else, were trying to stand inside the stalls/in the shadows of the stalls for some shade. I, on the other hand, the faithful sister, was braving out the heatstroke, to video Fats singing. I know, she’s so lucky right.
Flea markets are like treasure hunts, you just never know what you’re going to find. So, here are my tips on How to shop at a flea market
1) Get there early. You’ll be happy you arrived a couple of hours early and were able to pick and choose, instead of arriving with the crowd and having to elbow someone in the ribs in order to grab the last pair of embroidered boots.
2) Bring cash. You’ll be thanking me when you get your credit card bill and find Santa Claus Piggy Bank – Rs. 3500/-, Paisley Patterned Bathtub – Rs. 6350/-. Cash forces you to stick to your budget.
3) Case the joint. Always do a quick round before you start buying. Nothing is more frustrating than finding out that the identical Hello Kitty Telephone on the other side of the market costs half of what you’ve paid for yours.
4) If you love something, pull the trigger. Trying to assuage non-buyers remorse is more expensive.
There you go, Readers. If you’re in Bangalore, head to the next Santhe available. Go forth and shop. xx