merkato is something not to be missed, though after being there, I think it's much more for locals than for tourists. You can find anything. My husband went there in search of a camera battery. The locals shop for their daily food. It covers miles and employs thousands of people. Anywhere there's an empty spot on the pavement, you'll find a vendor hawking something. And it doesn't seem to matter that there are dozens of the same identical products just beside a vendor. You would think they could co-op and have some time off while making more money, but who am I to question a market that has been doing this for decades?
|a lady mixing spices|
|and right beside her is another woman with the same ingredients|
It is loosely divided into sectors of goods, though it is sprawling. I was in search of coffee and sticks used to clean your teeth in Africa. My husband grew up with them and in spite of using an electronic toothbrush, he believes they do a great job of whitening and removing plaque. He asked the wife of his business partner to take me there so we had a ladies morning out. We found coffee almost immediately, but what I hadn't counted on was that the beans are not roasted. They are divided by regions so you know the type of coffee you're getting. Ethiopia is the home of coffee, and they export huge quantities. This coffee is more what the locals buy to roast and prepare in their home and for coffee ceremonies. Rather than try to roast at home, I ended up buying a few roasted, ground bags at our hotel.
|a variety of spices used in preparing meat and vegetables|
|baskets used for injeera|
|Industrial sized pots|
|heavy bundles on neck and head|
|strapping goods on the taxi roof|
|I was wondering how heavy those would be if they were full|