South Africa Haul

October 30, 2013
I thought I'd do a haul post on the souvenirs that I got on my visit to Cape Town.  My pals and I had free time some nights and spent a lot of time shopping at the V&A Waterfront and Green Market for items to take back home with us.  I bought a couple of things in Johannesburg, but did the majority of my shopping in Cape Town.

Here is what I bought:

Zulu Wire Baskets:  I really became obsessed with these wire baskets because they are handmade and just so cool looking!  They can be decorative or practical.  I bought a huge one that I might put fruit in.  A neat thing about these baskets is that the starting point is actually the center of the basket, with the outside part of it being the last part that gets woven.  I'm keeping the black one for myself and giving away some of the other ones as gifts.





Soweto Spoon: Okay, before you totally judge me for buying a spoon listen to my reasons why!  When I was living in Europe I sent my grandma some spoons for her spoon collection, but it turns out that she didn't actually have a spoon collection.  It was my aunt who had the spoon collection and my grandma collected plates.  Since I had sent her several spoons for her collection that she didn't even have, she decided to start one because of me.  She ended up getting spoons from all over the world because my aunt is Peruvian and my cousin joined the Navy and did a lot of traveling.  When my grandmother died, I ended up with her spoon collection and decided to continue it.  It is very appropriate that I add the Soweto spoon to the collection because my grandmother really enjoyed hearing about my trips and she had all of my travel destinations on my 6 month trip around the world memorized and would tell everyone about me.  :)  Before she died, she asked me about my next travel plan and I told her about how I had the possibility to go to South Africa.  That was one of the last conversations that we had.


Beaded Crafts:  The next two items aren't elaborate like the Zulu telephone wire baskets, but I thought they were pretty neat.  The first one is a mesh covering that can go over a pitcher.  It's perfect for use outdoors to keep the bugs out.  The second item is a Christmas ornament.



Beauty Products: In the Cape Town area there are a lot of Woolworths, a department store.  I browsed the beauty section and picked up some Ylang ylang lotion and some Juniper Berry & Lemon bath gel and lotion.  I also really wanted to try something with Rooibos in it since it is so big in South Africa, so I picked up some day cream with SPF in it.  In the Jo'burg airport, we had a lot of time to kill so we did some shopping.  I ended up purchasing a Jolly Jewels nail polish by Golden Rose.  I had never heard of it before and was informed that it is a Turkish brand. 





Literature:  At Biblionef, I bought some books by South African authors to take back to the United States with me.  I picked books that I thought would be useful in an early childhood classroom.  I also bought An African Christmas Cloth directly from the author when we visited her in her home.  It was so cool because the "illustrations" in the book aren't drawn...they are all hand stitched and then photographed!  She even let us look at some of the cloths that eventually became the pages of her book.  


Accessories:  While living in Korea I became familiar with the store Accessorize, but there are none by me at all here in the States.  Even though the store isn't South African, I did buy a purse and some earrings from there.


I also bought a handcrafted beaded necklace that was made in South Africa and a scarf from the V&A Waterfront...It was on sale and I couldn't resist.


Food:  I bought some rusks to take with me, but my friend and I ended up eating them all in Jo'burg!  Rusks are a type of hard biscuit that can be dunked into tea or coffee.  Rusks are traditional type of Afrikaner snack, but they are also eaten at breakfast.  My friends and I ended up loving the "tomato sauce" that was used on fries.  It just tasted so much better than the ketchup that we are used to, so we all brought an extra bottle home besides one of my friends who bought two bottles.


Heart String Craft:  These are made by mothers in townships and provide them with income that can help support their families.  There were different ones to pick from, but the one I liked best had hearts with the word "love" on it and then it was also written in three other South African languages on the remaining hearts.  You can hang the string up on your wall and then put pictures underneath.  




Travel Must Have: After our long flight over to South Africa, my friend was complaining that her ankles were so swollen that it looked like she had cankles.  They were pretty bad and I started chuckling at her until I looked down at my own ankles and realized that I had cankles, too!  They didn't go away for a few days.  One of the other girls we were traveling with recommended buying compression socks for the flight back.  I ended up doing so and they were so worth it.  I'm proud to report that I had no cankles from the return flight.  I'm going to bring these with me every time I travel.


What are some of the souvenirs you've purchased and love from your travels?
12 comments on "South Africa Haul"
  1. Well reading about your swollen feet made me text my sister right away and tell her about those socks. This happened to her on our flight to Paris a couple months ago and she had no idea what was going on with her swollen feet so she says she has to get some of these socks. Thanks for that bit of info! I also love that you bought local crafts to support the people, my hubby and I try to do that when we go away, the baskets look so nice and colorful :) I love buying souvenirs when I go away, I go a bit nuts sometimes lol.

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    1. I hope that they work for her! They did for me and for the others that wore them on the long flight. Sometimes I go nuts with the souvenirs as well because I never know if I'll ever be able to make it back to a certain place, so I always justify my purchases that way. ;)

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  2. Wow I love all the stuff you bought, especially the bowls, which are beautiful, and yes, I am familiar with Accesorize, we have it here in the UK too. :)
    Dropping by from the Collective. :)

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    1. Yes, I actually bought some gloves from an Accessorize in London. :) There are some in the USA, but zero in my state.

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  3. I live in South Africa and it's so interesting to see what you bought. I have the juniper and lemon bubble bath and hand cream from Woolworths and a face scrub from African Extracts. All Gold tomato sauce is the best. We buy the big glass bottles. We've seen big boxes with a tap at restaurants and I think that's what we really need at our house because we love it so much.

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    1. The All Gold is SO tasty! I'm going to be sad when I'm all out! If it was possible, I would have brought back Steri Stumpie milks, too. There are some pretty unique flavors and I didn't have a chance to try them all.

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  4. Lovely goodies Lisa! My favourite thing to buy while travelling are drinks :) , for example wine from France, limoncello from Italy :)

    http://golovelife.blogspot.com

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    1. I almost picked up a bottle of Amarula, which is made in South Africa, but I decided I had already spent too much money already!

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  5. I always bring back a scarf. It's a fun way to have a souvenir that I'll actually use and remember the day I purchased it. I loved the story about the spoon collection!

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    1. Yeah, they are lightweight and easy to transport. I had a friend that bought a ring from every new place she visited. I hope to pass down the spoon collection to my future kids/grandkids so that they can hear about my grandma. :)

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  6. I don't tend to buy a lot of souvenirs when I travel, I just take hundred of photos, but my favourite one has to be my wooden flute my boyfriend brought back for me from Bolivia. It's absolutely gorgeous! Except that, because it was built at a higher altitude, the wood and bone have expanded and so there's a few cracks... I've been trying to find someone who can fix it but I haven't been able to as yet :(

    Lydia x
    thepiccolopixie.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh wow, that flute sounds so special, although it's a bummer that it changed from its original shape.

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