Saturday, July 29, 2017

Trip up North (Day 2, part three)

Our busy day continued with a visit to the Kurmi Market. Our drivers skillfully navigated a 15-passenger mini-bus and a minivan down the narrow streets near the market. As soon as we parked, several Nigerian men came up, offering to guide us through the market on foot.

You always have to watch where you're walking and make sure not to get run over by the traffic!
Various spices (dried ginger, cloves), mineral-rich rocks and resins available for purchase.
Here, the spices are measured out using small tin cans instead of by weight.
Locally made baskets available for sale
Anybody need to buy an iron?
This woman was spinning wool

If you keep your eyes peeled, you never know what you might see! Apparently Mickey Mouse's outfit from Fantasia makes a great advertisement!
The Kurmi Market was also a huge slave market in the 1800s. Africans would go out to the villages and take people as slaves, bring them here, and then sell them to others who'd take them to the coasts to sell to the European slave traders. Our guides told us matter of factly that this cave-ish building was where the slaves were kept and also showed us the holes in the wall where the slaves were chained. I'm so used to hearing about the slave trade in a sorrowful manner, or like the black spot in history, so I was surprised to hear it spoken of as simply fact.

The pathways through the market were so narrow (like 3') and there were people bustling along with their wares as we meandered through. 
We had been advised to stay together as a group, but that was hard to do as people stopped at various shops to buy souvenirs, cloth, or hand-crafted items. Our two guides kept telling us "Let's go" (I think that might be one of the few phrases they knew!), and the few of us that spoke Hausa kept saying "Za mun jira!" (we will wait!)

All of us women waiting for the guys who were looking at a shop full of Northern Nigerian traditional menswear.
 Once we finally made it back to the cars, our director and his wife wanted to take us to experience another part of Kano culture--specialty dried meats.

Kilishi is a type of dried meat that comes in sheets and is often sprinkled with finely ground peanuts and spices. Each seller has his own spice blend so we tried a few different kinds before purchasing!
I think I got out of the car because it was so hot as much as I did to look at the dried meats! Kano is VERY hot!

This is another type of dried meat called dambu nama. It looks a lot like carpet fuzz and has the consistency of cotton candy, almost! It's weird, but tastes really good!
 After the market, we went to Dala Hill. It was an easy walk up about 100 steps to the top where the view was incredible!

The sun was SO bright!
The man in white was our guide and true to Nigerian style, was almost always on his phone!
There were about 20 little boys hanging out on top of the hill when we arrived. At first, they gave us a wide berth but as we walked around, took photos, then gathered to pray over the city of Kano they crept closer and closer!

After our very full day of sightseeing, we went back to the hotel for a quick rest before going out to dinner at... 

Suya is meat (usually beef or chicken, but occasionally goat) that's been roasted over an open fire on a stick and coated in ground peanuts and spices. It's super yummy! We each ordered a stick or two of suya and masa to go with it. Masa is a slightly puffy round cake made from a thin rice batter that's cooked in a special pan over a charcoal fire. The plain masa cut down some on the spiciness of the suya, but I was still glad for my coke to wash it all down!

Afterwards, we all went to a place called Grand Station. It's a big department store... and it has an ice cream counter! I think I was as excited about the shopping as I was the ice cream--which I hadn't eaten in over 2 months! I'm glad that J__ was happy to split a triple scoop with me. Yummy cappucino, Nutella swirl, and vanilla ice creams!

I think we were a weird mix of completely exhausted, shopping-deprived, and sunburnt!

No comments:

Post a Comment