Wednesday, 3 March 2010

2010 Indestructible

It took me 2 years of being waste deep in garbage, coming home followed by flies covered in black grime, until I bought a pair of overalls. Today I went to Gikomba Market (the largest open air market in all of East Africa, thats the satellite image off google maps above) and bought some second hand overalls for 600 KSH (8 dollars CND). I think anyone who likes second hand clothes would love Gikomba. Nairobi is the capital of "pre-loved" clothes in all of Africa, it's where all the merchants come from all over the continent to buy in bulk and bring back home to sell. I generally hate shopping anywhere else but in Nairobi, there is such amazing stuff here. Does your city have a market for second hand Italian leather shoes? The large majority of it is donated, so when you first come here you see someone wearing a Canucks hat or jersey or even the Grizzlies and you say "holy guacamole" but then after a while you see so much weird clothes on guys the novelty wears off. All I have to say is guys here have some of the best styles I've ever seen in my life.

Gikomba would be a lot more fun if it wasn't such a hassle to bargain with everyone. Being a white man in a poor shanty African market doesn't exactly mean you'll get the best price and obviously price tags aren't anywhere in sight. Fortunately my bargaining skills are ultra pro and I know what stuff costs before I go to buy it. I heard of a white woman getting hustled into paying 10,000 KSH (144 dollars CND) to buy a "special" samosa with "magical" herbs inside.

I went to one of our centres and tried out my new overalls by spending a few hours sorting plastics getting them ready for shredding. Quick little fact about recycling is that when you sort plastics by colour you can sell them for more money.
Anyways I refuse to buy gloves. There is a reason why soap and nail cutters were invented.

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