Saturday, May 06, 2006

Some of my favorite things...

As a racial minority here, the volunteers often get a lot of unwanted attention when walking through the market or just walking through town. A lot of people want to come up and talk to you and usually ask you for your watch, money or anything else you might be wearing. I have developed some ways of coping with this and usually getting a good laugh out of the situation.

Some of my favorite things to do to avoid annoying Senegalese people:

-They say: 'Hello my sista! How you, fine?' in the wonderful Gambian English that way too many people here know.
I say (in regular American English): 'I don't speak English'
*This also works and is just as funny if I say the Wolof version or French version.

Or I say: 'Oh my God! You speak English!?!? We can be best friends and I'll come over and speak English with you every day.' Which they never understand and are usually dumbstruck and just end up smiling and nodding.

-They say: 'Are you married?'
I say: 'Yes, I've got two husbands, one to do the cooking and one to do the cleaning.' This is against their gender roles so they usually laugh uncomfortably.

-They say: 'Tubab, give me _______' (choose one; money, your watch, your friend)
I say: ' No, you give me money.' or 'You are rude, go learn how to greet.' or 'Go buy your own.' or 'Go get a job.'

This one really has endless responses but I did get a 'Give me your hat.' from a village woman, to which I said 'Give me your skirt.' taking a note from another volunteer, afterall, whos going to take off their skirt in public? well, that woman did and the other volunteer I was with got flashed. Oh well, it happens.


  1. hey becca. ellen is in dakar. I gave her your info. Her email is give her a holla.


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