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Yesterday, a man selling peanuts came up to the matatu I was in (note, it was a matatu, not a dala dala, because I’m currently in Nairobi for some prototyping) and shouted, “Twenty! Kumi! Twenty! Kumi!”

He was shouting the price. Twenty shillings. Or kumi shillings.

Kumi means ten.

White skin gets me a higher price. Knowing a bit of Kiswahili gets me a lower one.

(Photo: Jinka, Ethiopia, 2009.)

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