Monday, November 20, 2006


Those of you who know me well will already be familiar with my aversion to shopping (apart from the occasional dash into Wildlife for a bit of retail therapy after a particularly bad day). Here I shop at least once a day, every day. And I quite enjoy it.
Shopping involves a 20 minute walk past George the stork, along a murrum road, across a golf course, then murrum road into town. On the way I greet and am greeted by literally dozens of people, schoolchildren in their smart uniforms, women carrying improbably bulky loads on their heads, boda boys trying to persuade me I want a life on the back of their motorbike (interlude here – it seems incomprehensible that I would want to walk, I must have money as I’m muzungu, so why don’t I get a lift? When I’m out running I can see people watching mystified, then turning to the person next to them and saying “Oh, she’s taking exercise!”).
Some days I go to the dairy. This is about a further 10 minutes out of town, basically in a house. It’s a family business, making yoghurt and cheese (‘feta’, ‘gouda’, ‘cheddar’ and ‘mozzarella’ all tasting roughly the same). Then to the market where I cause great amusement trying to buy using only runyankore.
The availability of food is directly seasonal. The first mangoes are appearing on stalls, and the grasshoppers have just hatched(?). There are clouds of them flying around, and piles of them in the market. Some fresh and green and still with legs and wings, and others without (I think although I’m too squeamish to get close enough to know for sure) and fried brown.
And I usually end up buying a basket or two. They’re just great. And very cheap, ranging from 10p to 70p depending on size and shape. Irresistible.

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