Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Lesson in Bargaining

Today I got a lesson in bargaining.  I went to the Masai Market, which moves around from place to place each day of the week.  Today it was in the parking lot of a mall called City Centre.  Fortunately,  I had the company of an African, Elizabeth, who is the mother of Anne, my friend from Beverly.  Without her I'm sure I would not have fared very well.  I am naturally drawn to textiles, and I spent a lot of time looking at different types of African cloth.  There are handwoven pieces, both tie dye and wax print designs. There are traditional Masai colors and patterns,  baskets woven of all kinds of fiber, soapstone and ebony sculpture, paintings and batik images.  In short, there is some of everything.  The tricky thing is the price.  Most of the time I pointed out what I liked, and Elizabeth negotiated a price.  On two occasions, we decided that the price was too high.  Both times we walked away, and were followed with offers far below the price from which we walked. The bargaining involved a lot of talking, laughter, jokes.  I think it would be really fun if I learned how to do it.  But I was clearly only a novice today.  
Nevertheless, I was pleased with what I found.  

The ride home was in such bad traffic that my taxi driver turned off the motor on several occasions and we just waited for things to move.  You can understand why many people just walk.


  1. You'll never complain about traffic in the US again, huh? Isn't it unbelievable?? Sounds like you're really having a great time, and getting lots of great exposure to Kenya. In my five years of living there, I never made it to the museums. Whoops. I hope your time in Uganda is equally enjoyable.

    1. Good to hear from you Jenna. Your mom has helped me so much preparing this trip. And Keriuki is a Gem. Everyone loves " miss Nancy" at Gentle Bells.