In this part of the world, every Wednesday and Saturday works out as the Market Day. This is the day all and sundry converge to the market to shop for everything from fruits, veges to second hand clothes and shoes. It’s the only place excluding church where the well-to-do mingle with the REST as they ransack goods and trade in skilled negotiations. All under one roof, they bear the noise from hawkers, music vendors, unwelcomed preachers, mad men, bodaa guys and anything in between. It’s a meeting of sorts that brings together health-conscious middle class, shrewd entrepreneurs, Mamas selling hot porridge, kanjo people, pima weight fellows, dawa ya mende dudes…..and pickpockets all united by one mission; to make it happen!
You are also likely to meet your office tea-girl(s) and that intern in the HR department, in the middle of this thick mammoth of humans. They will go like;
Is this your wife!!!
Not really, she is my girlfriend.
Awwwwww! Hi, I’m Betty and she is Carol. Nice to meet you.
Kageshi: Smiles meanly and then… I’m Kageshi Wakagoshi (With an attitude of don’t dare judge my name.)
You almost like;
When I make her wifey, I’ll throw a memo.
You also notice men fighting midlife crisis, donning tired Stanchart marathon T-shirts accompanying their wives on this day, something you highly recommend. It’s very therapeutic. It breaks the monotony in the house if not cutting off the habit of slithering home at 2:15 am to wake a validly furious wife. Try it. Smell the market. Get to see where she buys managu and those carrots from Shamata in Nyahururu. Escorting her to the market might help her forget that call from the insurance lady that called you at 10:31pm the previous night. And to ladies; please don’t call a married guy after 7pm not unless you have a better plan for him after he is divorced.
Where were we…..? The advantage with doing your weekly shopping in the market is due to the relatively cheap prices than when you visit your Mama Mboga. Mama mboga is there to milk your money. Be aware. Sorry to all Mama mbogas. Anyway, on this day I got a call from Kageshi requesting that she takes me to the market after many days of postponing. For so many reasons, my weekends are quite occupied meaning I hardly get time to visit this place.
But on this Saturday, since I had sent her a message that my afternoon class had been cancelled, she saw it perfect to help me shop from the market. Here I was, armed with my college bag and so drained by the screaming, January sun. Right at the entryway, we were met by this lad selling kuyus C.Ds, with a music stereo attached to his stomach that the guys from NEMA should have witnessed. Business comes to a standstill when this guy is on location. For Kageshi and I, we had to find out if our eardrums had been blown off minutes after he was gone. The sound was annoyingly harsh.
We made our way to Mama Waiganjo as Kageshi would refer her for the sweetest sweet potatoes in this side of River Tigithi. Wife material network having been enabled, I found myself taking notes again. You remember Isn’t She A Wife Material?
Kageshi: Most round shape, sweet potatoes are tasteless. Go for the oval shape.
Me: Ooh really! (clueless)…..my mind was like; I should sue all my ex girlfriends.
Kageshi: When it comes to arrow roots, be careful with the bottom part color. Purple -like are known to be too watery. Check for the whitish colour. They are dry and tastier.
My mind: I should sue all my ex girlfriends ….
We dashed across to a Mr. Wagithomo who wakes, sleeps, dreams and talks PAWPAWs. He has been in this business for ages. I’m tempted to ask him;
Seriously, Pawpaws? Isn’t it too risky?
But yes, pawpaws are quite nutritious; They immensely contribute in reduced risk of heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, aiding in digestion, improving blood glucose control in diabetics, lowering blood pressure and improving wound healing.
We buy two the size of Nairobi ladies’ waistlines and walk over to buy some tomatoes. Here a beautiful lady joins us, as she carefully combs for the very best. She smells epic. I also like her kinky hair. What goes through my mind at this time, sandwiched by Kageshi and this chiq is how reassuring men view the whole idea of women insisting on carrying their stylish contemporary baskets and heading to the market. Spotting ladies in those wedding-dresses the ones that are balloon-like and strictly reach at the knee, busy walking from vendor to vendor with their sun glasses/hats and weekend rubber shoes is extremely enviable by men.
Why so, for the simple reason that men have had to deal with many women who have lukewarm attitudes when it comes to matters kitchen. Hence finding one who appreciates healthy eating and shopping from the market, can make a man’s receding hairline halt. Shopping in the malls is one overrated exercise of our times. It’s a feel good activity that makes fool of ourselves especially when it comes to fresh products.
Walter Kang’ethe, chairman of Bachelor-Accountants Association (BAA) may not decipher why Kageshi and I were stunned to buy tomatoes at 50/- per kilo. That was damn cheap. Walter and all your subjects, I forgive you. If you make it past the bachelorette stage successfully, you can certainly be anything you ever imagine to be. Ignore that as our eyes landed on apples pleading for a bite. We grabbed a few for 30/- each after our negotiations were met with resistance but however saved from the 35/- or more that trades in the malls. We bought onions in the next stall with the same trick I wrote previously, about feeling the top whether it’s dry.
Moving on swiftly we bumped to this mzungu who got the attention of this seemingly 5 year old kid waving at her steadily. Being a cool mzungu, she walked right over, gave the kid a handshake at the glare of excited parents pulling ear to ear smiles by now. Come-on Paul Mathai of Mathai Gallery , you should create time with your Cannon camera to drop by and take some unrivalled shots in this place. Meanwhile a smiley banana chap packed us some few. I took note of; One should go for the big and firm. Don’t get twisted, hehe. They have a longer shelf life.
We wrote off potatoes, after-all Nyandarua County where I was born and bred is a hotbed of POTATOES. Did I just say hotbed! I also don’t recall the last time I cooked sukuma after Kageshi introduced me to Kamande. (Lentils). Also to note is that Central Bank alluded to high cost of sukuma and its cousins to having driven up inflation, just the other day! Very strange. We concluded the day at the Peas area, where mamas seated in a long stretch, busy removing the peas from the pods, solicit for the customers’ attention. It’s a confusing affair before you settle for one. Here Kageshi whispers; The smaller the better. The bigs ones are just empty and tasteless.
I so liked the whole idea of the market and while at it, this Bible verse came to mind. Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
Thank you Kageshi W.