Friday, August 11, 2017

2017 Kenya Log Entry 20

 I am going to make the official announcement. This is my last journal entry from our trip to Kenya this past April. We’ve been home for four months; I think it’s time to finish this out.
 Our second to the last day in Kenya, we went to downtown Nairobi for shopping. People always think that all of Africa is a modern-day wasteland, where there is no running water, no electricity, no modern business, certainly no skyscrapers
 Downtown Nairobi, however, is just like any other twenty-first century large city. You can look around and believe you are in New York City (I guess, I’ve never been to New York City and don’t plan on it any time soon).

 I wish I could have taken more pictures as we were walking around the streets. The only constant reminder of where we were was that Dan, the Maasai, was with us. 
 We shopped at Baboa’s and Haku Crafts in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel. Then walked a few blocks to the City Market. The City Market was a nightmare, I think. Nothing is marked and every price has to be negotiated. They will not let you walk away without purchasing something, so you finally cave in and buy something you don’t really want at a higher price than you should have paid. Or that’s what they try to do. All I can do is keep saying, “I have no money”, as the seller physically clings to my arm, as I practically drag them out of their shop with me. It’s pretty intimidating and stressful.

 My daughter Val was a champ, though. She was like a dog with a bone, not letting go when she wanted something and at her price. No, she didn’t always win, but we didn’t get ripped off either.

 Then things got crazy. We were going to meet Samson in the van at a certain location at a certain time. Loaded down with all of our purchases (which included probably 50 pounds of soapstone – it’s heavy stuff), we ended up running down the middle of the street, between city buses, . Dan, the Maasai, being ever the gentleman, insisted on carrying most of it, though he is skinny as a rail.

 When we finally got to the van and jumped in, as it was moving, all of us were pretty winded and starting to sweat. Dan just smiled. Even carrying six of our heaviest bags loping down the street behind us, his heart rate was probably less than 60. Those Maasai!
 Some of the soapstone. 
 Some of the paintings and batiks.
All such cool stuff. 

1 comment:

Denise said...

The Grand Bazaar & The Spice Market in Istanbul is the same.