The alarm goes off at 5.15am. It’s still dark outside and I reluctantly slide myself out of the bed.
I scramble for my clothes (trying not to wake up hubby) and get ready for the day ahead – the Safa Park Market.
Fortunately, I (on the suggestion / persuasion from the hubby) had packed the car the night before. Thank goodness I did as I doubt I could have managed, doing this in my half-awake state, this morning. The car was packed full to the roof, making it impossible to see out of the rear window. Thanks to all of the wonderful people who so kindly offered donations of goodies to sell; the final count was 2 suitcases, 4 rucksacks, 2 boxes and a runner rail.
On arriving at the park’s main entrance, I couldn’t believe all the nutters that were already there with goods in-tow and each of them was wearing the same ‘it’s too early’ expression that I had. Now, I am quite prepared to class myself as one of these nutters along with all my fellow seller, but I simply couldn’t believe the whole new level of nutter presenting itself to me – the ones who were queuing to get in!! I understand that you want to be there early to get the first pick, but 2 hours before the place even opened??!!!!!
I meet my fellow nutter, sorry, seller Lucy, who I have to admit, is looking far more stylish and glamorous than me. We empty our first car loads and make our way to the hordes of nutters stretched out in front of us. Loaded like a pack-horse, I wait in line as she sorts out the payment for the table.
So, with the required orange sticker clearly displayed on my top and the receipt for the table in my mouth (I have no free hands) I enter the market bazaar (or should that be bizarre market)?
With the time now approaching 7am, I look as if I have just completed the London Marathon and the main event hasn’t even begun. I haven’t even made it to the allocated table yet, never mind started to unpack my first mountain of merchandise. By the time I reach the table, my vest and shorts are soaked through with sweat, I have no moisture left in my mouth (as I have sweated every morsel out), my hands and feet are covered in blisters and I have lost 2 wheels off my runner-rail which Lucy and I are now attempting to lift and carry over the grass area. Not so easy, to carry or balance, when it is weighed down with bags and boxes.
Giggling with hysteria and the fact that there are hundreds of other nutters just like us going through this, we start to unpack – Lucy on the right hand-side of the table and me on the left. I actually think I am being rather kind using the terminology nutters, as before I had even finished unzipping bag one, there were fellow sellers rummaging through my stuff. I then realised that I had not been aware of just how crazy the day was actually going to be.
We took it in turn to return to our vehicles and collect the next heap of goods to peddle. And then the crazy reached a whole new level.
The mass mobs of bargain hunters were swarming towards us. A neatly displayed table was futile and one by one they grabbed an item and yelled “how much?” You bargained back and forth until an agreement was reached and money was handed over. The stranger the items you had on sale, the more appeal they seemed to have; which baffled me. Actually, the first 2 items to sell were things I thought would never shift.
The next 7 hours panned out to be crazy, sweaty, surreal and exhausting, but all that aside, knowing that each dirham that I put into my brown purse was going towards helping Babby and his family build their home, put everything into perspective.
Believe me, there is not a single negative sentiment regarding participating in this day, I have simply written it in such a way to amuse you, the reader. Crazy? Yes! Worthwhile? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Not a chance!!!!! Only kidding.
Most importantly, we achieved our goal! We met our target and made the sum needed to buy the essential items to help a family rebuild a home.
So, a massive thank you to all who helped, donated or made a purchase from the table or splashed-out on one of the Humanity is always in Stylet-shirts. You made this possible!
We raised just over a whopping $500!!!!
(A special thank you to Binu, Chee, Simone and Iain. Also to Sarah and Tim for their generosity plus dropping off items when Tim was under the weather).