There are two major streets that run through Moshi Town, one is known as Market Street, the other as Double Road.
All of the streets in Moshi Town are bustling from sunup till sundown, but these two streets are probably some of the most travelled. They are a key artery for the local public transportation system – if you want to head south, you catch a daladala on Double Road; if you want to head north, you catch one on Market Street. Their wide sidewalks are also perfect for those enterprising individuals who make their living selling goods and services to the thousands of pedestrians who pass by daily.
Taylors set up shop pretty much every day except Sundays, and every taylor has their specific location. The men mostly sew men’s suits; the women sew dresses for many of Moshi’s residents, as well as a variety of items for the countless tourists that come through. They will also mend your clothing while you wait.
You can also find people to repair your watches, phones, and shoes, give you a manicure or pedicure (interestingly, I have only ever seen men provide this service!), duplicate your keys, sharpen your knives… there are even at least a dozen medicine booths where Maasai men will prescribe all kinds of combinations of their traditional herbs and powders for a wide array of ailments. But sadly, I don’t have photos of any of these.
Much of the rest of the sidewalk space throughout town is taken up by vendors selling almost anything you could imagine.
…radios, flashlights, even Al-Shabaab razors…?
I think the street vendor culture is one of the characteristics I most enjoyed about living in Moshi. It’s so very different than what we are used to in the West, and it ends up adding so much color and movement to the streets. Walking on the sidewalk didn’t have to be just a means to an end, but became an adventure for the senses. I never knew what I might come across. Not to mention the fact that it gave me an excuse to browse the rows of shoes every time I went grocery shopping. 🙂