Last week I wrote about going to the fruit and vegetable market. This week we made a subsequent trip to the Arabic market, known as the souq.
Now we have sufficient cat-litter (a la Khartoum) to last us quite a while! Shadow didn't bat an eyelid at the change of medium to his litter tray! Sweet adaptable little guy.
We also had another item on our list. A new backpack/rucksack
When we fly out to South Africa, we have to catch a connecting flight in Addis Ababa. We only have an hour in which to do it. Being Africa, often our departure from Khartoum is delayed and in the past we've left the plane, sprinted across the tarmac following an airport official, through the departure hall, out and across the tarmac again to board our Johannesburg bound flight waiting patiently for us.
Our saving grace has always been that we only have handluggage when flying home. Only thing is, Grant's backpack stripped its zipper and he needed a new holdall. So where do you go when you don't want to pay a fortune for luggage? That's right. The souq!
Grant's technician, Marcell offered to take us as he speaks good Arabic. (Don't you just love these markets? So colourful and so MUCH of everything)
We found a stall selling dozens of bags and other items. When Marcell asked the price, the vendor said twenty pounds (SDG20/US$8) Grant said "too expensive". Using my newly acquired, albeit halting Arabic, I offered the merchant fifteen pounds (SD15/US$6) and said we'd like two. The deal was clinched; I also have a backpack now, instead of my small overnight suitcase on wheels.
Later that same day, Grant and I checked prices of the same backpacks in an upmarket departmental store: SDG110/US$44.
Well worth the visit to the souq and a lot more fun.
The Arabic word for backpack/rucksack is chanta diharr
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