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Thursday, May 29, 2008

An unforgettable Experience (a good thing?)

Well, I guess I hadn't recovered enough to write again until now so here goes! On Tuesday, 5/27/08, I met up with one of Lisa's other runners, Irene and we cabbed it over to Massai Market. This is a marketplace that rivals any flea market you have ever seen combined with the worst hustlers you've ever seen! Irene and I were cornered by some men who claimed that all the dealers were "a community" and that we could pick out everything we wanted and then bargain for the whole lot at the end. Needless to say, I thought there was something amiss about this but I went along. I ended up spending over two hours bargaining and still don't feel I got a good price on anything. As we were walking out I priced some of the items individually with some of the vendors and was not happy. At that point I just wanted to get out of there. There were women coming up to me shoving their babies in my face begging me to "please feed my baby". It was heartbreaking at first. I told the women when I was done. Well, they waited the whole time for me to finish so I gave the two of them 500 ksh which is close to $10! Then another two came up. I gave them 50ksh and that was it. We pushed through the rest of the marketplace with our "brokers" (as we came to figure thats what they were) and when we got outside of the place I was literally swarmed by women shoving babies in my face. I told them I'm sorry but I can not feed all the babies and I had already given! We pushed our way across the street and they followed. I was very overwhelmed between the marketplace, the men who told us they would bargain fairly but did not, and the icing was these women! We were waiting for our taxi, standing in front of a building and the owner came out and told everyone to get away from his building. These women would not move. He finally came back out with a WHIP to shoo them away! A few minutes later our taxi arrived and i could not wait to get away from the place! It turned out to be a very long, exhausting day! I got back to my hotel, had a bite to eat at 5:30 and then did not leave my room again! Enuf said for this day!

Oh, the good news is that the hotel upgraded my room and it is SO much nicer!

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