The market marathon. We like markets, you know that, so even though we had just done the one in Kombolcha, this didn’t diminish the enthusiasm for, first, on Sunday, the Senbete market two hours south, and second, the huge market in Bati, an hour or so east.

Describing markets is very boring, I think. Suffice to say that the markets were markedly different. Senbete was rather small, compared to even Kombolcha, but was very colourful, thanks to Oromo women with plentiful silver jewelry and bright dresses, brilliant headscarves. And Bati, well, what can I say? We have been to Kashgar, in Western China, we have seen the souk in Istanbul. Bati competes with these, it is huge, it is – once again – colourful, with Oromo and Afar people, and probably a whole lot more we didn’t manage to identify, it is varied, from a chat section (not chat as in talking, but chat as in chewing, a local stimulant) to what we christened pepper street, 100s of meters of chillies in all forms, uncut, in small pieces, grounded. A woman was chopping them up as we passed, and not only we, everybody was coughing, from the smell of spice. Coffee in all forms, from raw beans to roasted; salt, in coarse grains; herbs and spices. On another hill people are trading mobile phones, sim cards, and there is an electronics stall. On the other side of the village is the cattle market, not much different from Kombolcha and Senbete, just bigger. And including camels. Anyhow, as I said, boring stuff, except for the photos – a very small selection only!

There is a selection of photos from the two markets below, without captions (they have been lost in the transfer of this blog).

next: to the next loop, to Dire Dawa

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