It is said one should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but I remember examining my 21st birthday gifts and wondering: Do these people even know me?
That was many, many years ago but the wound still bleeds.
There is no point in buying someone a gift if it's of no use to them like those frivolous, unfunny things you get for close to nothing at most novelty shops. The singing cards, the silly T-shirts and steam train that needs a miracle to get it moving are all a waste of money.
Don't despair though because there are lots of places you can buy the perfect gift.
Here you can buy anything from bedding to shoes. Don't be shy to bargain. With just R500, you can get nice Oriental jewellery, decent shoes, a trash bin, some kaftans and sunglasses for little boys and girls.
Bruma Flea Market
This is heaven for home-owners. It is also the den of unscrupulous art dealers and traders. Be on your guard and negotiate for cheaper prices. They sell gorgeous Mozambican baskets, African wall masks, cloths, clothes, CDs and clothing accessories. Leave the kids at Kiddies World for under R20 an hour.
Market Theatre Flea Market
Here you can buy stylish and classic clothing for both kids and adults. You can also buy priceless CDs, hand-made jewellery and clothing accessories.
Campus Square Flea Market
A fairly new market targeting a younger crowd. There are lots of goodies for teenagers and an abundance of techno-gifts.
Beyers Naude Drive
On Beyers Naude Drive, you will find stunning furniture and household accessories. The best time to negotiate the best prices is in the late afternoon. There are dinning-room suites, washing baskets, woven grass-mats and bathroom accessories to die for.