There’s a dress I want, but every time I step into the women’s shop, surrounded by women, a man from the street dives toward me to help me with the purchase. He will then receive a commission from the shopkeeper and it aggravates me because I only receive this treatment because I am white.
I bought two dresses, from two different shops today, with a unwanted helper, but paid 2500 Dj Francs. That’s about $13.50. It’s also what I paid for my dinner last night at the sit-down restaurant of high quality.
The dress I want comes with the headscarf and my first helper wanted me to pay 5,000 Djiboutian Francs.
I returned later, hadn’t even expressed interest in the dress when a different man swooped in upon me while a woman insisted on trying to sell us incense.
Today M and I started out early and wove through the side streets and alleys of the market to sneak into my shop from behind.
We did it. Walked up to the counter and asked for my dress. An older Djiboutian woman in a mountain of colorful textiles leaned over and pinched the fabric as I held it. She nodded her approval.
And so I bought it. For 1800 Dj Fr. About $10. With the scarf. And to think I paid 2500 yesterday.