In our town, we have this thing called the jottaya (pronounced joe-TAY-ya). We’ve debated with some of our students about what’s the “perfect” translation for jottaya; and there isn’t one, but I think flea market is the best match. There’s indoor fruit and vegetable stands, along with dry goods, olive stands, and a meat market (which I generally avoid).
There’s a covered section with nicer clothes, lots of blenders and blender parts, hodge podge gadget stalls, furniture, tajines, and maybe something so cool that I don’t even know about it.
Probably 99.9% of the goods sold in the outdoor part of the jottaya are used. Containers of used stuff come from Europe and is sold at souqs (markets) across the country. You know how you always hear about shirts with the wrong Super Bowl winner on them being sent to Africa…it’s along those lines, but I’ve yet to see any Super Bowl shirts.
There’s a large uncovered section with any and everything, but especially lots of clothes. Rows and rows of clothes piled on tables. Most tables are organized – towels table, jeans table, women’s shirts, men’s shorts, etc. – and most are organized so that everything on that table is a set price. I have a few favorite tables of women’s shirts that are either 5 MADs or 10 MADs (50 cents to $1). My strategy is usually to feel around for a nice cotton material, pull it out, and see what it is. Everything I wear is either from the jottaya or something I brought with me from America, and the jottaya share of my wardrobe is escalating quickly.
It’s kind of my favorite pastime here – rifling through the clothes, looking for treasures. And treasures are plentiful!
Some are quirky.
Some are odd.
But it’s almost always a good time.
I’m pretty sure we could have a thoroughly entertaining tumblr page of jottaya/souq finds…