We went to junction for 2 reasons. The first being we had been recommended the java house there ( cafe) and second, we wanted to go to the musical Masai market, held every Thursday here (each day is a different location).
The mall is lovely. Modern, clean and lots of variety. As good as any western mall.
The layout of the mall is good with places to eat, bank, and grocery shop in addition to the wide range of clothes & accessories, electricals, home decorating, jewellery, Home & kitchen and more.
There is a Kazuri ceramic jewellery and pottery shop (there are a few around Nairobi and you can also visit the factory 1 KM from Karen Blixen's house) here. Kazuri means small and beautiful in Swahili, and they really are gorgeous. A bit of explaining about this place. It was started in 1975 to give a job to destitute, single mothers. It also gives free medical care to their immediate family. By buying the products you are literally feeding, and keeping healthy, families. Its officially a fair trade company. The jewellery range is fantastic! Colours that ooze the spirit, nature and landscape of Africa with browns, honies, oranges, reds of the beautiful sunsets in places like the Masai Mara. Blues and greens which reflect the colours of the ocean, animal patterns such as giraffe, leopard and cheetah, other patterns, and the amazing colourful clothing and adornments that Kenyans wear. They are all hand painted and the patterns are particularly exquisite. The shapes are pretty cool too, all the shapes you can think of! Shale, pebble, round, cubes, barrels, oblong, animal, triangle, tubes and so on. I got a beautiful choker with small round brown beads and a triangle pendant with giraffe pattern, some bracelets as presents and one for me (which are memory wired, they wrap around your wrist around 2 1/2 times, and sit beautifully), earrings too. Prices are very reasonable for western standards. Around £9 ($13) for necklaces, £6 ($9.50) for bracelets and £2.20 ($3.50) for earrings. Airport much more expensive and back in the UK and USA, VERY expensive and I am sure the difference in cost will not go directly to Kazuri, rather than the stockist in our countries.
There are a range of eating and drinking possibilities. Kenyan coffee is very famous, and the options at the mall reflects this.
We ate at one of the two bigger ones (Artcaffe the other) Jjava house and will review separately, but we had a brilliant meal. The coffee was amazing as was the freshly juiced mango! Amazing drink!! The terrace was huge with shade from big umbrellas. It felt like a real oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city, you wouldnt expect such an oasis in a shopping centre! ,
The market is held in the parking area and wow, it is big! There are LOADS of items, from Masai beaded Jewellrey, other Jewellrey, carved masks, carved animals, woven basket bags, Kikuyus, soapstone, Masai shuka's, wooden trays and bowls, carved salad servers, metalwork, oil paintings, batik. Basically everything you can think of.
The great thing here is that they all make the items themselves. No local, taiwanese or chinese machine made stuff here, So every piece is a labour of love and individual.
The name of the game is to bargain, bargain and bargain! They will start at a very high price, and they expect you to haggle. Generally, counteroffer around 20-30 % and work your way up, with them going down from theirs. If you know their first price is ridiculous, you could offer 20-25 % for your starting price.
I was looking for beaded Masai jewellery and , but they were all very expensive. Walking around, I saw the only lady there dressed in full Masai clothes and adornments. She was a selling her bracelets for 10% of what the others were! I didn't bargain with her. She doesn't speak English but her neighbour at the stall next door does, and she said that all the other stall holders buy from her, I believe it. So if you want authentic Masai jewellery then look for this lady.
After lunch, there is also traditional dancing and singing complete with instruments and colourful dress. I had so much fun watching them.
A bit long, sorry! But I wanted to give you an idea of what is available at The Junction, I requested that The Junction be added on here, the food options, shops including Kazuri and to also write about the market (there are no reviews about the musical Masai market at The Junction)
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