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Street Vendors As Sign Posts

In South Africa, you'll find street vendors at traffic lights across the city, selling everything from coat hangers, to bin liners and more.

People can sometimes be annoyed by them, but not me. Admittedly, if you're flanked by 7 vendors at every stop, it gets a bit much. But when your mobile phone is about to die and you're on an important call, it is pretty amazing to suddenly be presented with a selection of car chargers.

If you're new to town, the great thing is you can get a pretty clear idea of your whereabouts just by looking at what's on sale. The vendors will be selling sunglasses or buckets at the beach, news papers and mobile phone chargers in the city. That sort of thing.

For example, at the traffic lights on Buitengracht Street (in the busiest part of the Cape Town) you'll find normally find throngs of people selling all the doohickeys and gadgets imaginable. The competition is stiff and the array of goods is normally impressive.

But, since the world cup circus is drawing near I haven't been able to get my hands on a Big Issue Magazine or a bag of avocados anywhere. All the street vendors have taken to selling flags, badges, hats and patriotic car accessories.

Like I said, you can tell where you are by looking at the street vendors. And we're definitely in a World Cup city right now.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.