Recently, I attended the Bouchercon in Anchorage, Alaska, where I participated in the Author's Choice part of the program. I chose to talk about "If you lived in 1920 Nairobi" which encapsulated much of what I've posted on this site. It also included a brief discussion of shopping in Nairobi.
Nairobi carried the latest of everything according to the advertisements in the newspapers. Materials arrived in Mombassa and came up the rails and into the many shops.
Some of those shops were owned and operated by the Indian and Goan population of Nairobi. Their stores carried exotic fabrics, spices, and teas, but to get to them, you needed to enter the Indian living district since the shops were in front of and below their crowded homes in the center of Nairobi. As sanitation was poor in Nairobi to begin with, and as these buildings had been delegated to the lowest part of Nairobi where everything drained into but not necessarily out of, there were times when shopping here was not a pleasant aspect. The Indians and Goans argued long and hard to be allowed to move out of this district since they were part of the crown, but the city council didn't allow it.
European stores stretched along Government avenue, Sixth street, and Sadler Street among others. If you wanted a new pianoforte, you might try B.E.A. Music company. They also carried the latest in recorded music.
A.H. Wardle & Co., (Chemists) not only supplied medical needs, but had the latest in Kodaks and sold all the necessary developing supplies.
If you were a settler, you probably shopped a lot with Whiteaway, Laidlaw, and Co on sixth avenue for everything from Buckskin Mosquito boots and solar topees to crockery and clothing. Ladies, you can buy Palm Olive toiletry soap there made from the finest Palm and Olive oils. Don't forget your Aertex Cellular Underwear, too. Their motto is... Warm in Cold Weather and Cool in Hot Weather."