East Africa: Shopping

23

Sunday 26 April, 2015 by Uncle Spike

On the whole, shopping malls leave me cold. In general I have little desire to trudge my way around endless corridors of glass, dazzling white marble effect floors and endless rows of glass-fronted shops all selling the same stuff as the mall we probably visited the day before. Fair enough, for the purchase of a certain item, these places serve a purpose, but for me, shopping is a sport best served outdoors. 

Here in Türkiye, outdoor markets are part and parcel of everyday life, be it out here in the rural areas, or also in some residential parts of our large cities. So when I travel, the roadside markets and entrepreneurial purveyors of foodstuffs are always of a certain fascination to me. East Africa, of course, is a case in question.

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The selling of foodstuffs always seem that bit more enterprising, and banana selling seems king of them all; from two tonnes in the back on a minivan…

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…to a whole roadside…

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…or hanging outside the local butchers, which also sold honey too 🙂

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But harping back to the blandness of modern shopping malls, how refreshing would it be to see the top names in gentlemens outfitters merchandising their pure cotton two-piece’s like this?

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There’s one thing for sure when travelling in a place like Kenya, one is never faced with the dilemma of “shop closed”, or having to think what day it is… every hour of every day, there is food sold along the roadsides. 

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Of course, the sad truth is that for many parts of the continent, this is not always the case. The harsh reality is that terrible wars, and devastating crop failures have brought about unbelievable suffering. The even sadder fact is that some parts of the world still don’t get it, and readily moan about the unavailability of a certain model of Nike trainers, or the price of a 6-pack of Oreo’s, or a 32-oz steak, whilst members of our own species are left to starve.

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23 thoughts on “East Africa: Shopping

  1. […] all started out as a post about open markets of East Africa and then posted some pics of the wonderful African kids we came across on our travels, and […]

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  2. […] looking at the open market style of East African market trading and the natural exuberance of the African kids, I wanted to share some images of everyday life […]

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  3. f-stop mama says:

    I could not agree with you more on shopping malls. I am not a shopper and I avoid malls completely. However the photos here represent more of my type of shopping. You hit the nail on the head with your last statement. Sadly some have way more than they will ever need and others go without basic needs like food and water. Such disparity in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patrecia (with an E) says:

    I just seen your post on Life on a Colorado farm and I had to pop over and have a betterlook…so now you have me to follow as well as all the thousands that eagerly read you every day.
    I have been to Africa and tasted the colour, the smell and the excitement of these markets, nothing can beat them, the spices, the vegetables, the weird looking fruits, and the smiling happy faces of those who want you to buy. In modern Malls there is none of that , they are cleaned to within an inch of their life, sanatized beyond belief.
    No give me the African markets , let me have fun, let me smell the flavours and let me enjoy myself

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  5. […] Anyway, I was reading a very interesting blog post about street shopping from Uncle Spike. […]

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  6. Markets are one of my special seek-outs when we are travelling. I love the vibrancy of life in the market place, be it just some apples from a cart or a street full of everything one could possibly need. I
    f only everyone were as well served. I have just been listening to the Today programme on BBC radio 4 about the need for food banks here in the UK. At least some food is available, not the case in war zones or in times of famine. The Nepalese are in my thoughts as I write.

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  7. Ah Spike, I’m with you – the malls do little for me, truth is they never have. Devoid of character – all with that ‘same same’ feel. I love markets and roadside stalls .. nice to be able to support those that grow and nurture the product themselves. You are so very right – we are so fortunate and spoilt for choice … many do not have that luxury.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. vannillarock says:

    Oh wow! Those bananas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dayphoto says:

    I am so NOT a fan of shopping malls or strip malls, or big box store. It would be a huge treat to see these stores in real life.

    By the way. I’m reblogging for Monday. It’s a perfect Monday blog!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A lovely, authentic way to live and shop. Back to basics. And perspective is everything, is it not ? Van

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Colleen says:

    I couldn’t agree more, give me an outdoor market any day! Shopping malls I try and stay away from all year round, unfortunately there are times I am dragged there by my teenage daughter…happy to say it’s not that often, thank goodness! I constantly remind her of how lucky she is often referring back to the war torn country of Africa and the poverty that is there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lynn says:

    I love the markets Spike, as long as I don’t have to barter! I am not very good at it…just give me the price please!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Colin Huggins says:

    Markets are always interesting – supermarkets, well you nailed that on the head – BORING!
    We have weekend markets here – arranged near rail stations (suburban) and in some parks.
    The produce is always fresh – I go straight for the fresh farm eggs section!
    The markets in Asian cities are fascinating – you can buy virtually anything!
    And they are so vibrant with the sellers in action – sprouting forth.

    Sydney is blessed with a really big, 360 + days of the year open huge market – I think only closed on Anzac Day, Good Friday and possibly Christmas Day.
    At Easter time it is a paradise for seafood purchases – fish of the finest Australian
    seas can produce. The smell can be somewhat overpowering, but the fresh
    prawns, oysters, and various types of fish – PARADISE!

    Cheers
    Colin
    PS: Watched the Turkish services after the Anzac services yesterday. Seems everyone
    stayed for them also – very impressive indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yvonne says:

    While they’re not the same as the ones you’ve seen in East Africa, I’ve been enjoying the daily markets in Italy, where it becomes a social event, as well as shopping for the necessities of life. Not at all sterile like those shopping malls.

    Liked by 1 person

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