I am not a swimmer, but walking through Maloka market felt like parting the sea to get through to our destination. We were only trying to get from the car park to the cloth hall. The walk felt like a lifetime, this is what we encountered.
Being the long holiday weekend gave Makola the buzz of Christmas, there were people everywhere. So many heads all moving in different directions. A very interesting walk, no doubt, with all our senses aroused in different ways.
The sound of people calling their wares, light music playing from the few shops or radios of sellers. Women having conversations in different languages, Ga being the loudest. Conversations that sounded like open quarrels, everybody shouting louder than the other.
My friends say,”You are very daring to go to Makola market.”
I reply, “I can only do it two to three times a year.”
A worthy visit as the purchases do the experience justice. The cars only pass close to our feet, sneaking silently beside us until we turn and see them slowly stealing our space!
Oh and the smells! Not like Chinese restaurants but as we walk whiffs of spicy smells come our way, there is not sight of cooking or food but the smells can be so poignant. On the move the most dominant smell is of stagnant water or filth. The open gutters just scream at us. Spewing out the scents they cannot contain. This is very unfortunate but with such heat the smells are uncontrollable. Fortunately, the wind takes some of the wading smells with them and that is when we get some relief until the next open gutter. We keep moving as there is no where to stop and wait for each other, the wading continues.
The experience is in the disorder, the unruly surroundings, stalls, human shops, colors, products, anything, everything. In all this chaos there seems to be a quiet order abounding. As we move, there are set areas where the pavement stalls are full of shoes and bags. Next area are human shops, holding clothes of all sizes, most of their bodies are rails or pegs. Talk about being innovative, you find it at Makola. There is beauty in the disorder, there is wonder in the disorder. Again one is questioning throughout the walk. Who organized them? How much can they sell in a day? Why do they only sell vegetables here? Life is full of questions and sometimes no answers, but we keep moving.
The pavements now have barbed wire on the railings. We are not sure why, but half of the pavement is taken by the stalls that seem permanently planted there. We, pedestrians have to wade our way to our destination- the cloth hall. Tiny spaces for many people, what an experience. We push and shove our way through, till we find a gap in the railings to cross the road. Nods at the silent cars, staring long enough for the driver to respond, then we swiftly cross to another crowded spot where others are also waiting to cross to where we were.
What a relief, we are almost there. I turn to my friend and sigh! Through many alleyways I find the familiar room, our destination, where we are enchanted by a million different designs in many attractive colors. Where do we begin?