Last weekend was very interesting. I did not do much but the little that I did, was all I needed and going to the Maasai Market on Sunday was the icing on the cake. Before I get into what I did on Sunday, let me start with my fun filled Saturday. I attended my good friend, Angel’s all girls “Birthday High Tea”, which was splendid, then I went to Tamambo, Village market to listen to Jazz played by a band called The Itch, that travels across East and Central Africa performing their ensemble of old school classics. 1960’s Jazz is an unfamiliar sound to me since the only song I know from the 60’s and 70’s is ‘Pina Colada by Rupert Holmes’ and that is because it was one of the tracks used in Guardians of the Galaxy movie and one of my closest friends, played it constantly after watching the movie and hence, the song stuck in my head. Back to Tamambo, at around 11 pm, just as the band was wrapping up, a group of older citizens got up and started dancing. At first it was very weird watching because it is rare to see people above the age of 60 shaking like they do not give a care in the world. I tried not to laugh but whom am I kidding. Later the jazz took over me and I joined them in the dancing and I have to admit, it was so much fun. The lead singer was swayed by the very jolly crowd to play two more songs and he did as he sipped some cold beer to sooth his throat. To say the least the night ended on a high note.I hope I can kick it like that when I am 60.
Sunday Morning. Leaving my bed to go to church,was a chore but I miraculously got there on time. The service went well besides some strange man seated next to me constantly asking me weird questions like what I do for a living and where I live (awkward). Just because you are in church does not make you less creepy. Anyway after church, I met up with my sister and we did what we love to do most,shopping. We opted to go to Maasai Market which is the biggest open air market for locally made jewelry, shoes, artwork and clothing. The market is mobile and it is in different locations every day. If you are in Nairobi or planning to come to Nairobi on holiday then make a point of visiting the Maasai Market because the items sold there are timeless. I love Maasai Market earrings,rings ,headbands and bracelets.
Lets go straight to my selection from this weekend.
THE LAMP SHADE / MAGAZINE HOLDER
This was a good selection for me since I prefer functional yet creative pieces for my house. I have a lot of clutter and I am always on the look out for furniture that doubles up as storage space. I was totally sold when I saw the colors on it and what sealed the deal, was that the seller was selling them at affordable prices.I bought it at Ksh 2000 (about $ 21).
THE MAASAI SANDAL
Everybody needs a stylish and comfortable pair of sandals. I realized last week that I did not have many pairs of open shoes.My distrust for open shoes shoes started years ago when I was in high school. I was 15 years old and I was wearing a size 7 shoe when everyone else in my class wore a size 6 or smaller shoes. My mum had a theory as to why I had big feet. Apparently it was because I put on a lot of open shoes which allowed my feet to grow fast. What? Are there actual studies that support this case? Anyway I believed her and from then on, my sandals were left for the beach, the lazy visits to the nearest supermarket or the “mtaa” neighborhood shop. But as the years went by, my shoe size remained the same and I gained confidence and loved my ”big’ feet and I realized that with a smile on your face and confidence, I can get away with a lot. Last weekend, I had to get myself the ‘forbidden’ sandals from the Maasai Market and true to the Reina way, I got the most colorful ones because they go with everything.
Price: Ksh 800
Buying jewelry at Maasai Market is easy since most vendors have similar items and their prices change faster than a chameleon on a color chart. They range from 50 Ksh to 500 Ksh ,depending on design and size. From my years of shopping there, I have devised a formula of getting the best deals.
1. It is better shopping in the afternoon compared to the morning because there is something called “bei ya jioni”, which is translated to “evening prices”. All vendors are trying to get a quick sale to end their day so at this time everything is cheaper.
2. Walk in and just look around and identify what you like and ask for the prices. Then make another round, this time going directly to the vendors who gave you a good quote then fold your sleeves and prepare to bargain.
3. If you are not Kenyan, go with a local to help you negotiate since the stranger your accent is, the higher the price.
I had a splendid weekend and I will be going back to Maasai Market for more items and will fill you guys in on it.
Always remember: A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.
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Have a wonderful week.