Thursday, 7 June 2007

A little bit of Zambia......

The market place in Kitwe, a small town about 60kms away from Ndola and our nearest neighbour. A patient person can find just about ANYTHING in here if they have the time and the will to succeed! This is just a very small fraction of the open air market which stretches for about a kilometre along the road, around the corner and then goes back into infinity. It sort of reminds me of Harry Potter's description of Diagnon Alley - I wouldn't be too surprised to find something magical hiding in there, just not sure it would the kind of magical I'd want to find!

One of the things you will find in this market are bales of clothes kindly donated by the citizens of western countries to the poor and underprivileged of third world Africa. It is amazing what you can buy for the equivalent of a couple of dollars - silk shirts, designer dresses and, believe it or not, riding boots and jodphurs! Most of this stuff has NEVER been worn! Or if it has, it may have been only once or twice. I personally bought a silk blouse with it's shop label still attached! It cost me the equivalent of US$2.50 - a lot less than it's original owner paid I'm sure!

If you're brave enough you can try on your proposed purchase behind carefully held blankets while amused local ladies comment on your underwear and pale skin to each other and cackle with laughter. For this privilege you need a good sense of humour and the hide of a buffalo! Much easier to just take the stuff home untried and give away the stuff that didn't fit after all! Quite frankly, it needed a good wash before wearing anyway. :)

Other items you might find if you really do have a sharp eye and have had a house robbery recently, are your TV, DVD player and so on. It isn't worth making too much fuss in these cases - there are FAR more of them than you and by the time you might return with a policeman, it's most likely been sold to someone else anyway!

10 comments:

Keith Hillman said...

Have you by any chance come across a burgandy colour jacket and a pair of rather fetching cream chinos lately! I inadvertantly gave them to charity recently and would love to hear of their wherabouts!

Jayne :) said...

Hi Keith - I will keep an eye out for you - lol

Stranger things have happened! :)

Rebicmel said...

lol Jayne did you see a yellowed colored tv it was my son's and it has gone missing..


Sounds like a fun adventure, your open aired markets and the Harry Potter reference, makes me exited for the up and coming one.

Jayne :) said...

A yellow TV? Mmmm - sure I saw one of those!

It'll be gone by now though but not to worry - you can always claim the insurance - LOL

jadey said...

HI Jayne what a neat place to say the least.

Rebicmel said...

Jayne, I changed my blog header....Yes your template is excellent girl love it lol..

Magdalen Islands said...

I think I would love to wander through an open air market.

Jayne :) said...

It can get a bit smelly in there but there's certainly lots of cool stuff :)

~Ambre~ said...

OMG! underwear, pale skin, buffalo hide! Your TV and DVD player! I was laughing so hard that I think I burst a vessel!

On a cruise last year one of the ports was the Dominican Republic. I opted to take the open jeep safari, which was absolutely breathtaking in the depths of plush terrain.

The group was told that as part of our adventure we'd be stopping at the 'Mall'. Well, that was right down my alley! When we finally arrived I was 'struck' without the 'awe' of course. The stench was horrific as there was dead chickens set out on wooden slabs, baking in the hot sun! YUCK! I nearly got sick.

I was looking for trinkets. I had wanted to purchase a key chain, but I quickly changed my mind as there was flies all over them! I also attempted to buy the islands dried roots in a bottle, until I saw the bugs crawling around inside.

I dare say, that 'to market we go' was not something I said for quite awhile...

~an interesting journey~

Jayne :) said...

Tis all part of the 'Africa Experience' CD - lol