Buying gifts to take back home

SHOPPING SPREE

Buying gifts to take back home

HAPPY Nehemiah Odhiambo

In the ongoing World Cup tournament, players have generally restricted their movement to the hotel or stadium. Some have not gone beyond the UB City. But the case was different with the Kenyan team. When Metrolife landed at the ITC Royal Gardenia hoping to interact with the players, it was in for a surprise, as most of the players were in the lobby in casual tees and shorts to get out and hit the streets of Bangalore. And they didn’t mind Metrolife reporters tag along with them. While some preferred to go to Commercial Street, others headed out to Garuda Mall.

For most of the players, this is their first visit to the City and they are excited about it.  Morris Ouma, a young player, says, “We had heard a lot of good things about Bangalore and we wanted to see a few places for ourselves.” With ample police protection, when the players reached Garuda Mall, they attracted many onlookers. One of the first few stores that they visited in Garuda Mall was ‘Espirit’ where they bought few T-shirts and shorts. They also went to Westside and Planet Sports to buy T-shirts. “Clothes are comparatively cheaper here so most of us picked up that. I picked up T-shirts to take back home and present them to my family,” says James Ngoche, another cricketer.

Gadgets with latest technology were also a favourite with many of the players. After hovering around the mobile store for a while, one of the players picked up a Nokia N8 cellphone. Then the players set out to visit each and every store in the mall. They wanted to know more about the brands they hadn’t heard off and looked out for mementos to take back home. 

THRILLED (From left) Alex Obanda, Jimmy K, James Ngoche, Morris Ouma, Nehemiah  Odhiambo, Peter Ongondo and Elijah Oteno.The group that went to Commercial Street comprised  the coach, his assistants, a couple of players and the physiotherapist. After spending close to three-and-a-half hours in Commercial Street, the team came back with saris and dress materials for their wives and girlfriends, who aren’t travelling with them. Some even bought formal suits. “In Kenya, the saris and materials are very expensive. Since we had time on our hands, we saw some beautiful saris and thought why not buy them,” explains the physiotherapist.

Coach Eldine Baptiste enjoyed the greenery on the roads and was also impressed by  different kinds of shops on Commercial Street. “I love exploring new cities and what they have to offer to the people. I found the City to be very warm and friendly,” says Eldine, who picked up a formal suit. This is not the first time that the team had gone out for shopping. In fact in every city, the team manager organises small trips on the off day so that the players can experience the city. Says Peter Ongondo, another player, “When I go back home, people are bound to ask me about the tournament and the places I visited. I don’t want to tell them that all I did was go to the stadium and the hotel. I want to return home with some interesting stories,” he sums up.

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