Making memories at the Meru market

meru market 1.jpg
By Maude Bertrand

We get most of our food from the supermarket in Meru. Every Saturday, we make sure to stop and pick up food for the week : maize flour, wheat flour, pasta, bread, chicken, coconut cream. We also buy some treats for ourselves (mostly chips, cookies and chocolate)!  However, the fruits and vegetable are expensive there, and that is why we also need to make a stop at the open market (what would be like the farmer’s market).

Most of the time, we walk to the Kiirua market, which is about three kilometres from our house. Our cooks Alfred and Boniface are always good guides, and they know where to find the right produce at a good price. Going to the market is always a great way to interact with the locals. We even know some shop keepers, and we happily visit them during our weekly shopping.

This week, we had a very different market experience. After school on Monday, Krystal, Erica, Alfred and I drove to Meru to get our fruits and vegetables from the Meru open market. And what a market! One can find everything : clothes, jewellery, shoes, electronics, fabrics, mirrors, and so on! We only had time to walk through the produce section, which had hundreds of vendors within it. There were mountains of potatoes, green peppers, delicious looking carrots, ripe bananas, juicy mangoes, beans of all colours, and numerous fruits that I could not recognize.

The colours were beautiful, and looking at all this freshness was mouth watering.  But it  was a very different experience than the Kiirua market… If the people in Kiirua are used to seeing white people, I think it’s not as frequent in Meru. We were a novelty for sure.

When we stepped out of the car, many vendors were already showing us their products, and 3 and 4 wheelbarrows were at our service to transport our groceries (they were very disappointed in our strong muscles – we were able to carry everything ourselves). I was however glad to have Alfred with us. He guided us through the maze of fruits and vegetables, knowing exactly what was a fair price, and which ones had been inflated.

All our senses were already stimulated and then, it began to rain. Not just a nice summer rain! A torrential pre-monsoon rain! It was one of the biggest rainstorms I had ever seen!  We were glad to be under a big metal roof at that moment (most vendors were not as lucky, they had to use tarps and umbrellas to cover their precious items).

So, the  adventure ended under the rain, with gorgeous produce to bring back home and anecdotes to tell our colleagues! It was quite the adventure, and I am glad we got to experience it.

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