Market day in Bvumbwe

By Gp

Saturday is the “market day” in Bvumbwe, a village near our school, so we decided it was time to do another tour in the local culture and, most of all, to buy some good food.
We already been in Bvumbwe during last week but this time we would have been “alone”, especially in the delicate situation of the bargaining. You have to know that here we “white people” are called “Muzungu” and as “white” we are universally considered “wealthy”. This means that when we ask the price of any product, the seller will ask at least the double of it normal value. And here starts the bargaining, normally with scenes of desperation from both sides while one is saying “it’s too expensive” and the other “you are giving too less”. At the end you will find a kind of “social equality”, where the price is higher than normal but you consider that it’s real: you are “Muzungu” and “wealthy”.
Bvumbwe’s market is made by a big square, closed by a wall all around, with a main entrance from the side of the street and a lateral one, from the side of a little shoes and clothes market. Inside this square, the market is divided in a kind of chessboard plant. Each line is dedicated to a different kind of products. The first line, while entering from the main access, is the place where you can find vegetables as  salads, carrots, eggplants, pepper and fruits as tomatoes. Going further inside, there are 4 zones covered by a roof: one dedicated to different kind of dry fishes, one to bananas, one for butchered chicken (outside you can find alive chicken in cages) and the last one with beans, seeds and vegetables.
Obviously, as any market all around the world, there are lot of people and it’s a kind of chaotic place. Colors of vegetables and fruits are really nice to see and the quality is really good. I have to say that the tomatoes we are eating here are way better than the ones in Denmark and and they don’t make me regret those from Italy too.

Outside of the market, in front of the main entrance, there is another caracteristic place: the minibus stops. Inside this little 8-places minibus, always filled in with at least 12-14 or more people, you can find a cheap passage to the main cities in this part of Malawi: Thyolo, Limbe and Blantyre. The “problem” is that there are, in the same time, at least 10/15 mini buses and all are fighting to put one more customer before start the trip. So it’s usual to see kind of “fights” between the 2nd drivers, the ones who has to “catch” new passengers during the day.

The day was amazing and we managed to buy all what we needed to have a nice dinner!

Here’s some photos of the market and the surrounding.


Inside the market:
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The minubus stop:
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The clothes&shoes market:

Waiting for some water:

The Police checkpoint:


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