Tala Cracks Me Up

One of my buddies works in a photo studio in Tala’s market. I hang out there after work sometimes and all sorts of people come by for various reasons, mostly to get pictures taken. Crazy people, drunk people, desperate people, etc. A few weeks ago someone asked if they could take a picture with me. It’s not the first time someone’s asked me, so I said yes.

Alan and the ware monger
Alan and the ware monger

We took a picture with me holding his tray of wares—match boxes, tea strainers, strings, q-tips, etc. He walks around the market selling those trinkets for ten shillings apiece, so you’ll hear him shouting kumi kumi kumi (meaning “ten ten ten”) when he’s making his rounds. He’s a funny guy who talks a mile a minute, and I’m pretty sure he was sober, albeit very eccentric.

Sadly, the picture was taken on an old-school, non-digital camera and then scanned, so the quality isn’t so good.

5 Comments to “Tala Cracks Me Up”

  1. Thaths

    I used to frequent one particular kumi shillingi vendor in the “Machakos” stage mataatu stop in Nairobi (you know, the one where mataatus to tala take off from). I bought bottles of water and small things from him. His face would always light up on seeing me. And people at the stage soon knew I was friends with some locals and stopped hassling me.

    1. Alan Author

      I think I’m like you. The guys don’t hassle me anymore because they know I’m just a local. I walk through the stage in Tala like I own the place, haha!

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