#14 Shop at Toi Market.
All the locals will probably laugh at this, but I’ve wanted to spend an afternoon at Toi Market ever since I heard about it. If you know me at all then you know I LIVE for a good deal. It’s one of the things I miss the most about the US. It’s hard to find good sales here (usually you will see a sign for something pathetic like 3% off… why even bother!?). So what is Toi Market? It’s a huge market, one of the largest in Nairobi. There are an estimated 5,000 vendors inside Toi! It’s the perfect place to shop if you don’t have a problem with second hand clothing, shoes, toys, home goods, kitchen wares, etc. Which I don’t have an issue with at all. After visiting, I’m pretty sure you can find ANYTHING in Toi! (I apologize that I don’t have a lot of pictures of Toi to share with you, but I felt like it was rude and a little too touristy to start taking pictures of everyone and everything. So you’ll just have to google it or use your imagination… )
I knew I wanted to go with someone who was familiar with the place since they’d know the best shops to take me to and could also help me get fair prices. My cousin had been visiting for several months and had ventured to Toi one day. She offered to take me back with her. We mostly stayed to the used clothing shops along the outer edge of the market, but we found some amazing deals. One shop owner, a guy named……, gave us five tops for $10, and then let us pick out a sixth one for free! I also found a great pair of Clark heels for only $12. I spent another $1 having them cleaned, and you’d never know now that they were used, or that I bought them at a fraction of what what they would have cost elsewhere. It was a lot of fun and we definitely found the humor in trying on clothes behind makeshift curtains. (A little tip if you visit Toi- wear clothes that aren’t bulky so you can easily try things on over top).
A few weeks later, my neighbor invited me to go on a Toi run with her. She was looking for baby clothes for her son. I jumped at the opportunity because I enjoy her company, and I also knew she’d know exactly where to go since she’s been shopping at Toi her whole life. I walked away from that trip with a great, brand new raincoat with the tags still on it, and it only cost me $3.
A photo posted by Not Your Average Tourists (@notyouraveragetourists) on
I only had a little bit of cash on me, which was probably a good thing or I would have gone crazy. There was a section of just rugs- all kinds. I saw a gorgeous rust colored oriental rug that took all sorts of motivation to walk away from. As we were driving home, I spotted a shop full of rain boots. There were at least five pairs of Hunter boots that looked to be in amazing condition! I guess I just need to visit again soon…