Zakopane has the most amazing handcrafted wooden good for sale, and the prices are amazing. From kitchenware (breadboards, spoons, salad servers etc) to the most intricately carved wooden toys you can imagine. The toys look like the old wooden toys you would expect your grandfather to have played with.
We bought ourself a chopping board (my sister got one as well for her birthday), and lots of spoons; yeah I know, spoons, but they are great spoons.
Much as I was temped to, we didn’t buy any of the wooden toys. Partly because we don’t have any children (ok I admit that was hardly an issue), but because they were far too big to bring all the way back to Cape Town. The toys that is – I wasn’t going to bring back any children.
The big toys for does bring up another aspect of Zakopane. There are many tourists and holiday-makers that visit the town, but they are mostly Polish visitors. There are very few tourists from other countries. A refreshing change (and yeah I am completely aware that by visiting Zakopane I am changing that).
The quality of the fresh fruit and vegetables in the Malawi markets was great, but the market is what I can only describe as an African scene. You could buy freshly cooked mielies, which had been “braaied” on the open coals (corn is the staple food of Malawi, you can see it growing everywhere).
Everybody wanted my business (especially since I was then only white person in the market), but they were friendly about it, which is more that I can say for Mauritius. Everybody in the market had something to do – there was a person there whose job was simply to shell the peas!