Some friends from the ship told Bonny Jean and I about a place in the Big Market that sold scarves for about 40 cents each, so we decided to venture off and find it on Thursday (it’s such a bargain, we just couldn’t let it pass us by). Originally just Bonny Jean and I were going to go, but my roommate Mel and workmate Ram ended up coming with us…and boy am I glad they did!
We walked for about 35 minutes to the market, then walked through the shoe market to get to the real market. The shoe market looks like a bunch of tents set up along side the street, with shoes hanging everywhere! They don’t have different sizes in different shoes like the stores back home, what they have is what they have.
At the end of the shoe market, we turned left and looked around at shirts, shoes, fabric & many other things. I kept my eyes peeled for a Chelsea soccer jersey with the name of a Ghanaian player on the back of it but no one seemed to have it. For a good 45 minutes, two guys (who claimed they owned every shop on the market) followed us around and tried to get us to buy anything and everything! At first we were kind of annoyed because they wouldn’t leave us alone. Then, I realized that when they were with us, the other store owners didn’t pester us. Here’s a picture of them:
Take note that the man to the left of me is stroking my face with his fingers…yes…I was a bit weirded out. I’m holding up a basketball jersey because the guy to the right of me tried to get me to buy it instead of a Chelsea jersey…along with about 15 other kinds of jerseys.
Once we lost our lovely friends, we set out to find the scarves that originally brought us to this market. The market with scarves was far from anything I had ever seen. Every market that I had been to before this was mainly meant for tourists or was just a nicer market. But this market was where the locals shopped. As we walked further and further into the market, it seemed to get tighter and tighter, with less sunlight and more coverings the further we went in. While some men were almost running us over with their giant wheel barrows, most of the men were grabbing our arms right and left to get us to go into their shops. We just kept walking further into the market until we realized how HUGE it was & that our chances of finding the scarf man was very slim. Finally, I looked at one man and asked him if he knew where head scarves were. Surprisingly, he didn’t tell us to look in his store, instead, he began walking and told us to follow him. Yes, we were all a bit skeptical as we followed him through what seemed like a maze. Then after a couple minutes of walking, he stopped and pointed to a whole pile of scarfs! Bonny Jean and I were so excited and bought 10 each…they were so cheap! Walking back, I thanked the man (we would have never found it without him) and held out two coins and told him to buy himself a tampico (this orange drink that Africans seem to love). But he was so kind and said, “No, I just wanted to help.” So I said thanks again, then started to walk and this really big strong guy grabbed my wrist and said that he wanted a Tampico. I told him that he didn’t help us so I wasn’t going to buy him one, then tried to pull my wrist away but couldn’t because he had such a firm grip. Then, Ram came to the rescue. With a few kind words, Ram managed to get the man to let go of me, then we were back on our way to the ship.
This is Ram with a bunch of Korean shirts behind him. They were all over the place for some reason, so we thought it was funny & took a picture.
After a day full of shopping (we stopped in more local shops on our way back), we were completely exhausted! There’s bargain shopping, then there is bargain shopping in Africa…I said I would go back, but Bonny Jean prefers to stay safely in the open market.