Five of my neighbors took Kylie, Karis, Keira, and I to the bazaar to hunt down material for our new cultural outfits. Thankfully, a new friend of mine who has lived here for a little over a year and has better language than me, went with us to fill in all the language gaps for us.
However, of the five neighbors, three of them wore black hijabs (head-coverings), one wore a red one, and one was a small girl with black hair without one. The one in the red hijab usually walked behind us, so therefore, I was following three black hijabs in a market full of black hijabs.
Have you seen those movies where the character is sure he is following the right person (because they are wearing the same outfit), only to find out that they were following the wrong person all along? It was a lot like that, and it was SO crowded! I was busy keeping Keira by my side and making sure my other girls stayed semi-close.
We got separated a couple of times, but by circling back, I could always find my lost, lighter-skinned, older daughters.
Skip forward to one of the seven "stores" (tarp-covered booths) where we searched for the right combination of material for "unders," dress, and vest/jacket. Karis found all of her material first in an outside booth, but the rest of us went inside the bazaar to look for ours.
Kylie and I found our dress material at the same time, but the other material-combinations took some time to find. I wish I had pictures of the shopping experience for you, but it was so crazy, I couldn't even think of taking pictures while trying to keep tabs on Keira.
It seemed like everyone was buying material the same day we were (more on that in a later post). We also knew that we needed to trust our neighbors' opinions because they know what is good and what isn't.
There was a lot of us saying, "Oh! I like this," and then they would say, "Oh no! That's not good."
In one shop, one of the 18-year olds asked Kylie if she like a certain material for her jacket, and she said, "Yeah, it's nice," but Kylie was still looking at everything else. The next thing I know the store owner is putting a plastic bag in my hand with the material cut and folded.
I asked Kylie if she had picked it out, and she said, "I said it was nice, but I didn't choose it." I said, "Well, congrats, it's your jacket material."
I had most of my material chosen for me, too, and we were glad that at least our neighbors thought the materials looked good together.
The whole tailor-experience of getting the dresses made and the buying of belts and shoes is another story, but for now, I'll show you the finished products.