Salambo discovering Ethiopia
Just a word abour the Tropical Gardens bi-annual artisan and designers market in Addis, as this is such an event in the local calendar….Every year, in May and November, a big bazaar is organised in the lovely Tropical gardens off Bolé road, a green oasis in the middle of this polluted city. Most of the creative artisans and independent designers gather there to sell their latest creations mainly to ferenjis, or foreigners in amharic. The game is clear: it is mostly the expats living in town who go there to purchase. The quality of the goods for sale there is quite high for Addis and the timing of the market is very good: in May, people who are about to leave Ethiopia for other shores take the opportunity to buy as much stuff as possible before their departure, while in November, it is the freshly arrived expats who buy the things they don’t yet have. Everything from leather goods, pottery and ceramic, textiles, jewellery, essential oils, herbal teas, food, shoes and clothes, bed linen, organic soap and candles can be found there…all made in Ethiopia.
The market actually turns into the social and family event of the weekend (if not the season!) where we end up meeting everybody we know in the city (it is quite small after all), and where we can eat, drink and have a chat in-between purchases. The green and peaceful gardens are very pleasant to spend a day or just have lunch. I suppose we don’t need much to have a bit of fun here! I was there the whole of the two days mainly to help my friend Fitsum sell his handbags… and he did very well. He was a very happy man by the end of the weekend 🙂