Saturday, July 7, 2007

Shopping Part 2

What a day!
My first day off work, and it was great! First of all, I've finally perfected "how are you? good" in wolof... "Nangadef? Mangifee." Woo hoo... i could never remember at first... but now i've got it. Today was a day of talking to Africans! At the cyber cafe I go to, the guy who runs it invited me to eat with him, which drew a big crowd. All the other guys crowded around - as if it's so incredible that a "white" girl (now I'm the white girl) sits down to eat with a local. What was amazing, was that he was teaching me Wolof, I was teaching him English, we were speaking French, I spoke Spanish to a Nigerian... the languages and cultures were just flying around! Then I spent the day at the Sengada market... I mentionned it before, but today was just crazy. It's actually exhausting shopping there because people are CONSTANTLY harassing you to buy things, and after a while you just want to scream, "Leave me alone!"... so you never want to stop and look at anything because you know you'll have 10 people on you at once. And it's in this environment that they sell things like bras and underwear!!! As if I'm going to look at underwear in the middle of this chaotic public market! But the great part of the day was meeting people. If you play them properly, these annoying merchants can actually be fun! And I've decided they're my in for taking pictures. Make friends with someone local, and then it's so much more acceptable to pull out the camera than if you're a random foreigner with a flash. Anyways, by the end of the day, I was tired, and wanted to snap more shots, so i stopped at this little dress-making place where some guys were sewing outside. I started talking to them, and they were so nice. One of them, Sidi, was 16 years old, not in school, of course, and the ironer. (The little one in front!) We started chatting, and I told them how I wanted to buy some black sandals. So Sidi took me through this maze of fruit stands and people chanting Qu'ran and dark alleys, to the area where they have the shoes. And then he went on to pick out sandals for me and negotiate with the vendors on the price. It's amazing how nice the Senegalese people are at heart. I wrote down the address of the sowing place, and hopefully I'll be able to find it again in that crazy labyrinth! I also ran into Pap again today. We rode the bus home together and he gave me a mango, which I subsequently just carried around in my hand. haha. It's still a bit hard to know which of these "friends" are actually friends, but I think as long as I'm careful, it's worth trying...

Here are some more pics of the marketplace!

1 comment:

Natasha said...

are you ever going to get your luggage? does the airline have it or is it just missing? also i take it you found out the pictures thing???