December 2, 2009
We spent the day in Tamba today which was nice because I got to sleep in and we didn’t have any driving to do. In the morning Talla did an accounting formation, which was interesting. I thought that he made a huge mistake in the total costs column, but about 2/3 of the way through the formation I realized that he had actually started a new example which I hadn’t realized since the formation was in Wolof. I’m glad I didn’t bring that fact to his attention since I would have felt really stupid.
Talla has some family in Tamba so we went to their house after the formation for lunch. I am always skeptical of other family’s ceebu jeen since my family is patron and eats really well, but this was good. Or, it was really good up until the point when they asked me if I liked “geej.” I had no idea what it was and said I would try it much to their delight. I really need to learn to ask before putting things in mouth because it was rotten fish and my gag reflex kicked in and I was almost in real trouble. Luckily I was able to swallow a huge mouth of food without chewing and kept the rotten fish down. At least in the future I will know not to partake in that Senegalese delicacy. The hour proceeding lunch was really boring and I watched CSI Miami dubbed in French as Talla talked with his family.
After lunch I ventured out into the courtyard where I was mauled by adorable children. There was a little boy about 18 months old with no pants on that kept walking up to me, looked at me with his eyes almost popping out of his head, and then would start to cry uncontrollably. He did this at least three times. It was ridiculous. I also had my two favorite conversations.
#1 – Marriage – the marriage discussion is always the first topic. This discussion actually wasn’t annoying because I was with women, not men. They couldn’t believe I’m unmarried and in a foreign country by myself and advised me to lock down my man while I’m still young and beautiful and while my breasts are still perky… I didn’t have the heart to tell them that bras work miracles…
#2 – 52 States – there is a misprint in a widely distributed Senegalese text book so everyone thinks that the US has 52 states. The best part is that people are adamant about this fact and won’t believe me. I promised the women that there are only 50 states. They told me that since I was a guest that they would defer to my opinion, but they obviously didn’t believe me.
The piece de resistance for the afternoon was one of the young boys t-shirt’s. Second hand clothing is huge here and people will wear graphic t’s with slogans and phrases they don’t understand. For example we once saw a man in Dakar wearing a t-shirt that read “Gay? Fine by Me.” He obviously had no idea what that meant because it wouldn’t have been fine by him. This little boy was wearing a Jewish day school pre-school shirt. I was beside myself. It has the generic little kid picture of Noah’s Arc complete with Hebrew writing. It was priceless and pictures will be up shortly.
For the afternoon’s activities we went to an artisan village which sells pretty much the same, generic, merchandise that you can find in the Thies artisan village. Nothing too interesting. I spent the night back at the Tamba house hanging out with people and watching Knocked-Up. Good day.
Messy, but Warm
6 months ago