Friday, July 8, 2011

Life in a Market

I live in a veritable thrift shop. Like, no joke. I cannot get anywhere without walking by stands selling anything you can imagine – pants, avocados, sheets, fabric, stoves. I live right around Toi Market, a giant market in which you can find ANYTHING. I challenge you to think of one thing that they don’t sell there - anything that can be bought in bulk, placed in a small wooden kiosks (okay, so not cars), but they have pretty much anything. Bandanas. Beans. Belts. Bananas. Coat hangers. Cow meat. Cashmere sweaters. Canteens. Coffins. I walk through this market every day and am tempted to buy many things, and others I am just amused about. How exactly does someone amass several dozen shovel heads? Or a few hundred spare socks? Where does this come from? I really enjoy my walks through the markets, browsing through piles of sweaters and shirts that someone somewhere threw away. Some items still have “goodwill” or “value village” tags still stuck on them.  Yesterday I found a t-shirt from a basketball tournament at the Boys and Girls club in my hometown in Washington state.

What is really convenient is that no matter where I go when I am looking at clothes the sales person declares that all of his goods are “your size! Your size! Everything is your size!”. I am simultaneously a size 4 and a size 14. Rock on.

Life in a market provides many temptations and no end of hustle and bustle. I have made friends with a couple of the people who run shops by where I stay and they know my name and we chat it up every morning. I am in awe at how they pack it all in every single night and bring it all back in the next day. This market was destroyed by fire in the post-election violence of 2008 and was rebuilt after with the help of a few donor organizations. Although the market is loud and results in a continuous 24/7 soundtrack, it is an exciting place to live. 
The market, part of my daily path to CFK.

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