'Tis the season for night markets. Depending on your suburb, your local mini-fair might be an Eden of tempting street-food and quirky craft, or a smoke-filled tussle for the last steamed bun under a Kmart. Either way, night markets are trendy and a way to get out of doing dishes on a Friday night. Here are five people you'll meet at a night market.
He knows what's good and he's prepared to wait. It doesn't matter to him that the hand-cut chip line is a kilometre long and blocks the door to the ladies' loo. They're the best chips, he tells everyone passing, especially the last time they pass him on their way home. He's eventually rewarded with a $8 cone of fried potatoes and the knowledge that people saw him having good taste, even if it took two hours to taste it.
She's always been crafty, but there's a disconnect between what she can make and what the public might want to buy. She's made a lot anyway: crayon lip balms; macrame lingerie; quilled paper salad servers. She'd like to give up her day job, but until her shoes made entirely of zips find an international distributor, she's trying her luck with a stall. She knows her products have a point of difference; unfortunately it's that anyone could make them for themselves, they just don't want to.
The desperate parents
They only came because daylight savings hath murdered sleep and they urgently need something to do in the long, long twilight that doesn't involve Peppa Pig. At the night market there are other screaming children, blaring music, some guy in a clown costume with bubbles, all the markers of a child's paradise. The clown isn't funny, but some older children are attempting to hip-hop dance to the latest Ed Sheeran dirge, so that is, at least. Sadly the parents have forgotten how long you have to queue for street-food. They should have asked that eager guy in front of them in the chip line. He'd have assured them, against all evidence, that it's worth the wait.
Bric-a-brac, white elephant, rummage. Call it whatever you like, its someone else's old tat. Amid the shoeboxes of broken bead necklaces, "ornaments" and boxed puzzles of Cotswold cottages fraudulently labelled "all pieces present", the jumblie sits. Like the merchandise, he's shaggy and well-used, offering a remarkable deal to take all the items in the $5 basket. You nod thoughtfully, but secretly wonder if you could sneak some of your unwanted household items on to the stall next week.
The artisanal fermenter
A few years ago he read about the amazing benefits of fermented tea and started cultivating organisms in his kitchen. He's trapped wild yeast on the wind, which did wonders for his own trapped wind, and made bluish cheese with his toenail scrapings. There are numerous bottles and jars around his house, occasionally making plopping noises and contributing to the general air of flatulence. His aged cabbage could extend your life, but at what cost?