It was just about a year ago, when I was lucky enough to visit South Africa for the third time. I went with a group of co-workers for an event called Mozcation, and spent the first week with them hanging out in Cape Town. We went on a tour of the cape, walked to the V&A Waterfront, took a boat to Robben Island, and rode the cableway to the top of Table Mountain. But one of the things I always enjoy most while traveling, is shopping at local markets.

On my last day in Cape Town, before I was headed to spend a week with my best friend, Melissa, and her family in Durban, a group of us went to Greenmarket Square in CT. I had been there before, and remembered buying quite a few necklaces and other jewelry on my previous trip. Now, in a perfect world I could shop for beautiful clothes, and not have to always focus on accessories while I travel. But, that’s usually not the case because it’s tough to find plus size clothes ANYWHERE.

However, on this excruciatingly hot day at Greenmarket Square, I ran into this gorgeous woman, selling hand-made dresses that I simply couldn’t pass up. Being a bit embarrassed about my size, I shyly asked her if she had any in extra large, and she started showing me these dresses that would actually fit. I’m pretty sure I was beaming, but when I asked about the price, I realized I didn’t have nearly enough cash to buy one. I told her I was sorry, and walked away. *sad face* I didn’t even have enough to bargain with her.

How could you *not* buy a dress from this lovely woman?
How could you *not* buy a dress from this lovely woman?

I found my way back to Erica and Geraldine, who had been haggling with a tea pot/cup vendor for at least a half and hour, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that dress. It was at that moment that I had the brilliant idea to have them come look at the dress with me, and asked if I could borrow money to buy it if they thought it was actually worth it.

My assumption was that they would also help me haggle a bit on the price (since they’d been giving this other vendor a hard time right before that ;). But no, they had the same response I had… BUY THE DRESS from this lovely woman!

Sadly, the dress didn’t actually fit all that well, it was too big if you can imagine. So it stayed in my closet for close to a year, because I had promptly forgotten about it after I got home from the trip. But as I’ve recently found my love for fashion, I pulled out and remembered the sweet lady, and haggling, and the wonderful trip with my coworkers, and my best friend. And decided to give it a whirl.

To make a short story, long… Here’s my gorgeous South African, hand-made dress, on cold and rainy Seattle day, almost a year later. The umbrella is my daughter’s, the gloves from Portland, and the beads are also from South Africa. :)

NOT my favorite picture of me But let's just focus on the dress now shall we.
NOT my favorite picture of me. But let’s just focus on the dress now shall we.

To top off the day, when I got home from work I made curry for dinner from a packet of spices I’d bought at a grocery store in Durban. I’d show you a photo of it, but the entire family had seconds. WIN!

PS. Before I close out my memories of that amazing trip, I wanted to show off a few of my favorite moments.

I'M PETTING A BABY RHINO.
I PET A BABY RHINO. A. BABY. RHINO!

 

Well hello, end of a continent.
I visited the end of Africa. Hello, bottom of a continent.

 

Spent an entire week with my best friend. <3
Spent an entire week with my best friend. <3

 

Thanks for the lovely memories, South Africa, and for proving to me that I *can* find fashion just about anywhere! I can’t wait to see you again soon.

 

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