Linda and two of her friends had agreed to check out the Brixton market on Friday. Part of the fun is figuring things on one’s own and as such, they did not have a chaperone. Thankfully, this stop was on the same line as theirs(Think one of train stops on the same route)
Right after they got to the station, they did not know where to go. They decided to turn left and then come back if they failed to find it (or ask along the way) Voila, the market stood in its glory just a few metres after the lucky turn.
It was easy to tell because of the buzz that surrounded ‘traders.’ In just a couple of minutes, they had seen bananas, avacado, mangoes and pretty much everything that screamed ‘home’ to them. They decided to take a short tour and then return to make some purchases.
The walk seemed to uncover something new with every step. The population in this area is mainly of African and Caribbean descent. As an African, you would feel right at home, as the trio did on this cold Saturday afternoon.
They agreed that they needed to taste food from at least one restaurant before they left. The pick was what seemed like an Italian restaurant with a varied menu that had everything from curries to french fries (chips). Milly and Christine settled for chips and chicken, while Linda had a beef curry with rice. The prices are quite pocket friendly. In fact, the train fare, meal and drink were altogether cheaper than a meal at the street where the students live.
They agreed to try out a new restaurant whenever they were in the area. What better way to ‘travel the world’ than through discovering different cuisines, right?
Ahead of them lay a cosmetics shop that had everything from weaves to the hair oils they know and love. Milly purchased a few brands she was familiar with and then they were off. Before embarking on the ‘food trail,’ they chanced upon a little Christian bookshop that turned out to be a gem. It had beautiful messages, books and gifts that left the ladies wishing they had a shopping allowance. Milly suggested a group Bible study for the East African team after finding a book that would serve as a guide. Christine and Linda happily welcomed the idea and made their contribution so as to purchase the book.
After spending more time than they should have in the lovely, store, they decided to concentrate of their purpose for the visit. Most of the items were sold at one pound each. For those that seemed greater in quantity like apples, oranges and onions, Milly and Linda split so that each could take home a fair share that could last them a week or more.
While looking for flour, to make chapatis, Linda bumped into a shop attendant of Indian descent. He did not even ask her where she was from and immediately started a conversation.
Him: Gyebale nyabo
Linda: *quizzical look on her face* Kale, naawe gyebale
Him: Oyagala matooke..?
Her: *giggle* Nedda ssebo
After a while, Christine pulled her aside to ask if he indeed knew ‘her language..’ They did not find the flour but Linda made sure to buy some items from him.
It started to rain (as it often does, out of the blue) and the ladies took shelter for a while. The bags were too heavy and too full to stand the burden of umbrellas.
The ride back was quiet after 3 or so odd hours of ‘shopping.’
With Linda still struggling to keep up with the change in time zones, her system dictated a long bath and some rest even though the night was still young.
- The shops generally give shopping bags in this area although it is best to carry a big one in which you can throw everything
- It is also a great entertainment scene, with several bars, Ritzy, picturehouse, the largest independent cinema in the UK, Brixton academy that hosts live shows and live music. There are also several other items ranging from clothing to jewellery, new and second hand. Perhaps Linda will have more to add on this in future.
- Apparently, Brixton’s crime rate is considerably higher than most areas in and around London.. but there were no incidents to report on while the ladies discovered bits of this vibrant area.