I could not wait to go shopping with my sister in Port-Louis, our capital city of Mauritius, on that Monday morning. We were going to La Corderie street for a few errands. I have heard so much about this well-known street and how much you could make some really good deals. Most of the shops were both wholesalers as well as retailers, thus the owners were quite flexible with the prices. I must say that it’s quite usual here to negotiate the prices with the shop-keepers and this can sometimes lead to some quite amusing situations.
In the past, Port-Louis used to be THE place to be for shopping and at that time, all shop-keepers all over the island, used to close their shops on Thursdays so they could all go to our capital city for the purchase of their stock of goods. We arrived there around eleven o’clock in the morning and the street rumbled with people. There were a wide variety of shops, selling ready-made clothes such as dresses, blouses, pants but the street was most famous for its curtains’ shops. There were numerous shops, one after another, with all kinds of beautiful curtains, one could barely dream of. People come from far away into the city to buy new ones each year. It is indeed a custom in some Mauritian families to change their curtains every year around the end of year festivities or for special feasts.
We came across a street merchant selling fruits salads, mangoes, and pineapples. I could not resist having a few pieces with some red chilies. The mangoes were just as I loved them, half-ripe, between green and yellow and slightly acidulous. Hawkers on the street were yelling at the top of their voices with their articles spread in front of them. Some of them had a very funny way of selling their products and this brought a smile to our faces. We briefly had a look at their products before making our way through the street once more.
We took a narrow staircase in an alley to find, to our surprise, another floor full of shops. I noticed a nice little black dress and could not believe my ears when the shopkeeper told me the price. It must be a wholesaler price for sure, I thought enthusiastically before purchasing it. Our shopping spree on that day did not only make us feel that we had made good bargains but it was also quite fascinating to feel the vibes of our buzzing capital city, Port-Louis with its scents, sounds, and vibrant colors. Quite an interesting experience indeed!