Monday, November 26, 2012
Shopping in Addis
I wish everyone could experience shopping in Addis. It's quite the experience. Just down the street from the guest house, and really all over the city, are little shops filled to capacity with items from the States; still not able to determine the decade on some of those items.
Imagine the smallest apartment you've ever lived in. For many of us that's going to be in college, or the first apartment you had out of college. Now imagine something smaller. In fact, think about that dorm room you may have lived in. For me, it was the 4th floor of Jester West. Room enough for two twin beds, two dressers, two desks and a little bit of floor space. Do you have a picture in your head? I would say that's a pretty decent comparison to many of the storefronts here in Addis. And that's being generous. Clothes are stuffed on shelves and hanging from every possible area. There's barely space to turn around, yet it appears to be very organized. That's where Shanna and I found ourselves after a fruitless visit to the airport on the quest to locate our luggage. Armed with enough birr to get clothes and toiletries to get us through tomorrow, we stopped at a women's clothing store. It was the first one we saw that didn't specialize in hootchie clothing. As I told the other family at the guest house, I didn't wear clothes like that back in college when I could get away with it. Pretty sure I'm not going to start in my forties to visit orphans. Highly inappropriate. Fortunately, there was a shop with jeans and t-shirts nearby. Unfortunately, sizing is different here and there was no way to avoid trying the clothes on. The dressing room is about half the size of a bathtub. That my friends, was fun. I think what I enjoyed most was the fact that the sales guy tried to sell Shanna and me the same shirt, (Twinkies, anyone?) which by the way came from Ross. Yes, that Ross. That's not even the best part. The tag was still on it and it was priced at $17.99. What you need to know is that he tried to sell it for 400 birr, which translates to roughly $25. Does anyone else see a problem with that math?
We were excited to find Dove products so we can get really and truly clean. Our body wash even came with a loofah. Woo Hoo!!!
I'll try and get some picture of the stores tomorrow so you can get a true idea. Hopefully I won't have to return for more clothes, just pictures. I will leave you with this incredibly honest, somewhat embarrassing thought. But, I think it will make you giggle and hopefully also make us all a bit more appreciative for what we do have. There is nothing more awkward than having to buy undergarments from a man on the streets of Addis.