The Bazaar

the fabric bazaar

the fabric bazaar

I asked Veronica, Mrs. Mwasanguti, to help me shop for Kitengas.  I would not have even known where to look.  Not that I will wear the colorful, wrap-around skirts in my daily life in the USA, but kitenga cloth is great to use for all kinds of things-table cloths, placemats, runners and more.  I needed and wanted some for us and some for the people on the gift list.

So shopping we went.  Kumbuka stirred the car down a narrow little alley and all of a sudden I found myseld in the center of what can only be described as a middle eastern bazaar for all things cloth and clothes.  It was a crowded alley; a rabbit warren of one little store blending into another; hawkers trying to outshout each other; people haggling over a piece of cloth (I relied on my hosts to haggle for me); being in danger of getting lost wandering down small side alleys and not finding your way back; and seeing everything from the tresure of gorgeous fabric to the junk of cheaply made dresses somewhere across the Indian Ocean.  And, of course, enjoying every minute of it.

I bought 5 different kitangas, some to keep, some to give away.  I helped Veronica pick out a three piece suit for the Mwasanguti’s youngest, 4-year-old Robin.  And I watched the crazy life going on in the place.  What a fun afternoon.  For very little money I got yards upon yards of fabric, none of which you can ever buy in the US unless you live near where a lot ex-pats have thrown their lot together.  Who knows, maybe I’ll dig out the sewing machine when I get home.  That’ll be the day.

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