It really doesn't take a lot to enjoy yourself. You don't always have to take an overseas trip or max out on your credit card. Neither do you have to take a week's leave from your job.
I was reminded of this again on Tuesday afternoon. After work, a friend and I met at a little cluster of shops in the neighbourhood within walking distance from both our homes. We only had an hour or two to spare. Firstly, we viewed an exhibition of drawings by a promising final year art student. Next we admired leather handbags and unusual antique and modern jewellery at a tiny gift shop. Then on to some Louis XIV chairs upholstered in gold brocade which we found in the adjoining antique shop. In contrast, was raw, brightly coloured, exotic African crafts in the next venue, showcasing the work of artists from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, to name a few. A leopard carved out of wood caught my eye; my friend preferred the cream and blue pottery bowls. Around the corner, situated in the old post-office, is a great favourite of mine: a gift shop filled almost to the ceiling with unusual funky treasures.
Now adding to your mental wish list is thirsty work so we stopped at the next door deli for a cappuchino and a chat at one of the tables on the pavement. Before leaving for home, we bought fresh fruit and flowers at the corner cafe which looks the same as it did 35 years ago. I bought a bunch of fresh pink proteas for R 25 (about US $ 3). This time spent strolling among some rather hidden local shops, far from the bustle of the Mall, was such fun. Who needs hours in a Paris arrondissement? Local is lekker ! (That is Afrikaans word for very pleasant!)