Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 3 – J’ai vais au marché

Today, I went for a walk. I didn’t really know how far I was going to go, or where I was headed to, but that didn’t really matter. I went out to the main street and started heading towards the island. My host family lives on the mainland, also known as Sor, and the original city was built on the island in the Senegal river. The island is also known as Ndar. On the island there is the north side and the south side. Today, I walked around the north side. But before getting to that point, I had to walk through the market. One major difference I noticed while being here is that not a lot of people acknowledge me. Some of the salesmen do, but other than that, I can walk along minding my own business. While in Morocco and Egypt, everyone was very forward and constantly trying to get us to go into their shop to buy perfume or jewelry or papyrus, or whatever really. But here, it is not the case. Even if they weren’t trying to get us to purchase something, they wanted to follow us and talk to us. While I was walking through the market area, only one person tried to get me to stop and talk to him. This surprised me, because he actually reached out and grabbed my arm. In Morocco or Egypt, this never would have happened. So, while I was relatively ignored, when I wasn’t ignored, it was a little more forceful.

I walked across the Pont Faidherbe, the bridge that between the mainland (Sor) and the Island. I wandered around the island until I got tired and took a Taxi home. I took a few pictures, which are also attached.

There was nothing relatively interesting during the walk. A bunch of goats running around unleashed, a plethora of garbage in the streets, beggars, salesmen, etc. But there was one interesting event that you might appreciate hearing. As soon as I got on the island, I decided to walk around the edge. My ambitious goal was to walk all the way around, but I got tired before then and didn’t finish. However, when I first started walking, this man came up to me and started pestering me. He wouldn’t stop. I said “Bonjour” and “Je ne vous comprenez pas” Which means I don’t understand you. THEN that wiley salesmen switched to English! I didn’t respond, then he tried Spanish. At this point, he had been following me for about 20 feet, so I turned to him and said “Jeg kommer fra Norge, kan du snakker norsk?” Which means (in Norwegian, obviously) I am from Norway, can you speak Norwegian. He kept trying languages, and I spouted a couple of non-sensical things like “Jeg er sulten,” “Jeg vil ha vahn” and “Je vil ha flaere vafler.” Which mean “I am hungry,” “I would like some water” and “I would like another waffle.” Yeah, he stopped following me. :D

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful, and I successfully returned to my homestay, took a nap, ate dinner, finished the book: A year of living biblically, and started reading The End of Poverty.

Disclaimer: I can't figure out how to not have that underlined above. Sorry.

Photo 1 - Pont Faidherbe. Sorry about the awkward corner things. It was the thing on my camera, I didn't notice it while taking the picture. But you get the point. The bridge is also falling apart, so they're in the process of fixing it, which makes traffic a complete nightmare. Their solution for when they start tearing the thing apart - Ferries...

Picture 2 - Random goat.

The river between the Island and the peninsula.

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