We woke up leisurely on Monday morning in Eldoret and eventually made our way to Rivatex. As it turned out, our guest house was not very far from the factory showroom and we were able to walk. The main mission of our trip to Eldoret was to pick up the suit Cale had ordered when we visited with the student group several weeks before.
The suit picking up was immediately hilarious. When Cale took the shirt out of the bag and held it up to his body the bottom of the shirt hung down to his knees. Hmmmm....this seems a little large. Let's just try on the rest of the suit shall we?
Cale disappeared behind a curtain and emerged a child playing dress-up in his dad's suit. He was just swimming in this suit. At first glance, there was not a single measurement that was not comically large. Cale has a 40 inch chest. The suit jacket measured at a 46 inch chest. The pant legs were so large Cale could trap the fabric between his hands up against his leg and still have extra fabric hanging out beyond his hands. The shoulders had an extra two inches on each side. Strangely enough, the waist fit perfectly.*
*In addition to the fit, the fabric was surprisingly green. Cale was pretty certain that the fabric he had picked out was much more khaki colored, but this fabric was clearly an olive drab. However, at that point, there was no point in arguing the fabric was also wrong.
Then began the half joking, half serious inquiry from the staff at Rivatex, "Is this not a suit for your dad?" Cale was not super amused and pointed out that even if it was, his dad is smaller than he is.
The tailor who had taken the measurements and made the suit was called over to inspect his work. He brought along his book with the measurements written down. First, the suit was measured and these measurements were compared to what was in the book. Hmmmm....the suit chest is 46 inches, yet 44 inches is what is written down in the book. The suit shoulders are so many inches, yet there is a slightly smaller number written down in the book. And so it went, which just about every measurement (except that perfect waist) the measurement of the suit was several inches larger than the measurement in the book.
At this point, Cale had to intercede and point out that he was of the opinion that the measurements in the book were not right either. As Cale went about instructing the tailor how to re-measure him and demonstrating how the material should be, a look of realization came over the tailor's face. "Oh," he said. "You want it fitted?" I believe that Cale was a little flabbergasted. What is the point of having suit custom tailored for you if it is not fitted? He said as much. Everyone else in the room seemed to think a fitted suit was pretty funny.
The tailor clearly did not want to do anything about the ill fit of the suit and the other employees were clearly amused by the tailor's discomfort, commenting on the poor fit and indicating he would just have to start over. I could tell the tailor was hoping if he stood there long enough with out saying anything, Cale would just accept the suit as is and leave. Cale was having none of it. Finally, the tailor had to agree to fix the suit. Seeing as how Cale had not paid for the suit yet it was really his only option. Initially, the tailor wanted another two weeks. That was unacceptable. We were not going to have to return to Eldoret again in two weeks. Cale countered with tomorrow. They settled on Wednesday. The tailor wanted 4 pm. However, if we stayed in Eldoret much past noon on Wednesday, we would just end up having to stay yet another night since we did not want to be on a moto on the way home during the afternoon rains. Cale countered with 11 am. It was finally settled that Cale would call at 11 am to see if the suit was ready and that we would have it by 2 pm at the latest.
After the suit debacle, we went to hang out with the local Peace Corps Volunteer Hannah. We met her at the Nova Cafe (which Cale and I immediately recognized as the Eldoret Sydney Side Cafe). Cale had a burger with bacon and cheese. He said I could have a bite, but the next time I looked up the entire thing was gone. Next we wandered the city trying to find an open bar where we could sit and have a drink and relax. This turned out to be more complicated than we thought. We commented on how Kenyans are not day drinkers. We never see Kenyans having a drink at the club in the afternoon. Hannah shared that technically it is illegal to sell alcohol before 6 pm in Kenya. Well that was news to us, as no one had ever had a problem selling us a drink before then, but it sort of explained the no day drinking phenomena. We eventually made our way to Shakers, which had outdoor seating and cold Tuskers.
When we left Hannah, we caught a moto back to our guesthouse. Immediately after jumping on the moto, we found ourselves in a giant traffic jam. The boda-boda didn't want to wait and drove off the road and up onto a dirt pedestrian path on the side of the road, causing pedestrians to jump off to the side. The path had a light pole in the middle and rose bushes on one side. We escaped with only a few thorn injuries.
Tune in later for our surprise kidnapping where we spent 12 hours visiting schools in rural Kapsabet.