Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poor Taste

The past couple of days have been highly uneventful. With the new trainees in the village for the week I don't really have much work to do. Yesterday I went over to Dioss' to pick up two cards that were missing from the order. Hopefully I'll be able to deposit the cards in the proper hands by the end of the week. It will be very exciting to see Dioss' work online once the cards are received by the retailer in the US. Dioss' house was pretty quiet all of the boys were laying around reading, which offers a distinct contrast to the constant, television comatose state that most of my family members have been in since Ramadan started. I can't blame them for laying around because it's hot, humid, and they can't eat or drink, but it is interesting how people spend their time. Regardless, Dioss and his band of boys were in no mood to talk business or accounting surprisingly so it was only a short trip.

Yesterday and today we had big storms which are really nice. I enjoy having an excuse to curl up with a book while my family is sleeping or unwilling to get wet and therefore wont venture across the courtyard to my bungalow. Unfortunately I've been reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I read 600 pages of it yesterday which brought me to the most gruesome part of the book right before bedtime and I had terrible nightmares. No one warned me how disturbing it was! I finished it this morning and started something else to get it out of my head.

The big news of today was shopping, shopping, shopping. My mom and dad got a new bedroom furniture set and gave their old one to Ziabata and Awa. The new set is beyond ostentatious, but I enjoyed the chaos that taking it upstairs involved. We all then stood around my mom's room oohing and ahhing at the new furniture. The other big shopping event was Khady bringing home all of the fabric she bought the family for Korite, the holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan. A few days ago she asked me what color fabric I wanted. I asked her if I could come along since I have absolutely nothing to do and she said no. So I told her a few colors, which she rejected and then told me that I was getting pink fabric. Fine by me.

I've always thought that I have pretty good taste and dress fairly well. No one can say that I don't like shopping, but my Senegalese family thinks I have really bad taste. Granted I currently wear a rotation of various khaki colored capris,faded t-shirts, and some skirts and dresses, but I have limited resources. Khady returned with exactly the color of fabric that we had agreed upon, but then launched into a soliloquy of how she had used her judgement in color and therefore prevented me from looking like a fool on a very important holiday. Everyone was so thankful to Khady and the situation was fairly hilarious, but the obvious question is: Is it possible for a toubab to wear full Senegalese garb and stand with a Senegalese family and not look completely ridiculous? Absolutely not.

I think I was the only person happy with the fabric Khady picked out for me. Jeenaba was beside herself and when I said I would trade fabric with her (a switch from pink to purple) all hell broke loose and this was deemed an unacceptable situation. Big Ahmed and Awa also didn't like their fabric, but Khady pretty much told them to suck it and deal with it in typical Khady fashion. I would like to point out that Khady was wearing a royal blue full length skirt and three quarter length sleeved outfit - made from VELVET. We live in Senegal. It is August. Anyway, the fabric situation took hours to sort out because everything had to examined, discussed, and reviewed so my planned excursion to the post office didn't take place, which is probably a good thing since Thies is currently a trash swamp because of all the rain. Tomorrow I believe we are going to the tailor as a family. I can only imagine the scene this is going to create!


  1. Alyssa,

    What a family...I don't care until it is for me and then I really care and you did a bad job. I think it should be filmed for a tv show. 600 pages in one day is a lot of reading, and I am guessing that there are no pictures. Getting excited to see you in less than two weeks. Make sure that the rain stops and the humidity goes down.


  2. I cannot wait to see the Korite costumes! Please, please take pictures tomorrow at the Tailor's!

  3. I wonder if they would let you wear the Obama fabric - or maybe you could combine the two - a little pink and a little Obama.

    I can imagine it perfectly!

    Aunt Cindy