Malian Anecdote #2

Well… this isn’t necessarily an anecdote, but more like a series of little stories. Basically, I would like to tell you what I have been up to since last night.

So it is yesterday. I get home around 5 p.m., exhausted (I just got mildly screwed over by one of these damn sotrama men). Then, I have to sit for an hour and a half to hear my roommate complain about her workplace and about Mali (this is the routine, it’s mandatory).

But since I decided to have a better attitude about being here (which is already paying off), I only contribute by complaining about my boyfriend who finds it normal and ok to pay to go eat at a place known for having half-naked waitresses. This just leads me to expressing other frustrations about my relationship that I am not free to express otherwise by fear of being ignored for weeks.

So basically, after work, I have a 2-hour bitching session with my roommate.

Then, I start reading under my mosquito-net about how to make my life better (Demandez et vous recevrez) until I start falling asleep around 9 p.m.

But then, it hits me that ONCE AGAIN I am skipping dinner, which is supposed to be necessary for my malaria pills. Since I acually lost 10 lbs since I got here (and a lot of energy), I decide to make that extra effort to eat. The problem is that I never have anything to eat at home and I never have the energy to venture out in freaking Bamako Coura to get food in the pollution and traffic while being yelled ”TOUBABOU” every two seconds.

But luckily last night, I had creative juices. So I basically put together everything I have left and I cook THE most delicious pasta I have eaten since I got here in Mali (for the ”sauce” I use a dried up onion I’ve had for 3 weeks, a tiny, dried cube of chicken broth spices, hot sauce and La Vache Qui Rit cheese).

I wake up this morning at 7 am and I feel so comfortable in my bed, to the point that I don’t want to leave it. So I start my day with humor. Why? Because me thinking that bed is comfy is like my body telling me a JOKE. I have THE shittiest bed I have ever slept on. I actually basically just sleep on planks of wood; on a weird, sloppery substance. So when I wake up feeling comfy, I literally laugh out loud. I feel like I’m having a hard time translating that humor here. Maybe I AM getting the hang of weird African humor, after all.

So this morning, I decide that my little pleasure of the day was FASHION. I’ve been missing fashion so much since I got here. Don’t get me wrong, the way women dress here is beautiful, but it’s traditional and African and well I have a thing for Western fashion, even when that means incorporating an Eastern-looking top with jeans. So I decide that if I missed fashion, I should make fashion exist in Africa.

So I wear jeans with a black, arab-looking shirt with hand-sown white designs that I stole my little brother because it was too big (or small?) for him. With this, I also wear my new, long, silver and diamond owl necklace that my boyfriend gave me for new years, along with matching chandelier-style diamond earrings and a silver bracelet.

I go to work only to learn that my boss was taking the day off to rest (yesss, this means a free day of wordpress, faceook and gmail for me in the AC!). So I go out of my office and downstairs to chill with my Malian co-workers. They drink tea (I hate it) and we talk about Canada and life and family and even… sex here in Mali, how it works, when people get to do it, etc. I actually learn stuff I didn’t know and sure as hell was never going to learn sitting alone in my office.

But then I get REALLY hungry because I don’t have food at home (pasta aside) and I haven’t have breakfast yet. So the (huge) accountant asks her ”husband” (a tall, skinny teenage guy) to take me to the white-people supermarket. I try to refuse (I hate that place, it’s ridiculously overpriced and the employees there are rude). Plus, I am not looking forward to getting on a motorcycle again in Bamako. But as usual, she doesn’t take no for an answer and next thing I know, I am behind the guy on his motorcycle, clutching for my life and repeating Al-Fatiha over and over.

Let me tell you that as we’re on the highway, I am glad I ate that pasta last night and had some sort of energy to go through this motorcycle adventure. On our way to the supermarket, I pass a really mysterious neighborhood I promise myself I would go back to. How is it called again? Badabougou? Hmm… not sure anymore. Anyway it has a different feel; I feel as if I am in Jamaica as opposed to Mali. Strange. And there are stores whose walls are painted and decorated with mystical black men in turbans. Although the titles of the stores are writted in Arabic, I feel a Haile Selassie reggae vibe somehow. I don’t know how to explain it, but something strong is pulling me to this village. I hope to find out what it is this weekend.

So I get to the supermarket and buy 2 packs of cookies and…. (shame shame shame)…… a fashion magazine…….for 10 dollars…….. (shame shame shame)….. And it’s not even a thick magazine.

I KNOW,OK? hahah I feel so guilty but DAMN it’s just that I have been missing fashion so much! And I’ve been trying to go on Chictopia but it takes so long to load one image that I end up giving up on my daily fashion dose.

Then I come back here and eat my left over pasta from yesterday. We don’t have a microwave here at work (or anywhere for that matter) so how do I warm up my lunch? It’s easy my man, I let it sit in the SUN for the whole morning. Solar power my friend! Now my pasta is all warm and nice 🙂

Anyway enough chatting for today. Peace, I’m out.

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~ by seaofcurls on February 9, 2011.

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