Djibouti Stories and Tips

Camel Market

The camels are gone. I think the flies chased them out.

About a 10-minute taxi drive should put you in the Camel Market, a street offering all kinds of tourist souvenirs. Most taxi drivers know some English, and through caramel-colored teeth try to point out places of interest. With motions of folding money into his breast pocket, our driver showed us the expanse of the Presidential Palace. Another country where the rich get richer, and the poor get children......

The market is an exciting bedlam of trade, one part for tourists and the produce market for locals. Within the call of the mosque, stall owners and street hawkers vie for the US dollar. French tourists tend to pay more for goods so it isn't easy to get the best price, although the US currency is greatly welcomed.

Ethiopian wood and amber carvings are popular purchases. African animals, giraffes, zebras and camels are in abundance. Yemeni curved swords and daggers are available - beware, they are not appreciated by US Customs and certainly not by airline cabin crew! Necklaces of beans, coral and silver are truly beautiful, pack easily and should be appreciated for the handiwork. Lots of $10 T-shirts and sarongs are available.

Vendors will accost you - learn the word "la" - Arabic for "No".

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