Saturday, June 12, 2010

Waterside (Market of all markets in Monrovia)

Today I went to Waterside Market to buy some cloth to make Lappas (or traditional Liberian skirt and top outfits). I am not new to the market experience, I've been to Makola market and Kaneshie market in Accra, but each time I travel to an African market, my senses still get hit like a ton of bricks. Sight: so many people, everywhere. so many vendors and stores, outside along the sidewalks and in store establishments. so many different items being sold, I'm pretty sure if you can imagine it, it's somewhere to be found in the market. Hearing: all the vendors yelling about the products that they have. Though I didn't stay too long at the market, in comparison to Ghana I didn't get people calling me sweetie... young lady... and touching me so that I would come into their stores. A lot of the fabric 'stores' were actually run by Lebanese, so I'm not sure if that makes any difference here. Though I wasn't touched by overeager vendors, walking along the sidewalk and trying not to bump into people or into any vendor stands, while watching out for little kids running around and any piles of garbage and dirt on the ground was not easy. When I first got out of the taxi with Robtel's aunt, I stepped right into a pile of mushy wet garbage/dirt/food... great, welcome to the market. As an aside I forgot to mention that we are in the beginning of rainy season and it rains, no, excuse me, there is a torrential downpour EVERYDAY. I'll probably do a whole post about this later, but needless to say rain does not help the outdoor market situation. My sense of touch was less of an issue as my sense of Smell. I couldn't make out all the smells, but none of them were pleasant- food, sweat, garbage, sewer. I have to say that thankfully one of my senses did not have to partake in my market day experience (Taste).

I'm not sure I could accurately articulate the experience, so hopefully the few pictures I took will help.
I picked out a few pieces

I'm not big on loud and busy prints. Hopefully I can get some really nice stuff out of these 4 cloths.

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