Malian Anecdotes #3 and #4

IIIIIIIIIIIII have the best life ūüôā

I have lots to tell but I shall start by the beginning.


I get out of work 2 hours after I was supposed to get out, because it was the day my report was due. It’s 6 pm. I hop in a Sotrama, I stop at the bank by the Niger river to take out some money and then proceed to walk home.

On my way home, as I’m walking by the Niger river on a really busy street, I notice a huuuuge space of sand. The beach girl in me gets excited. Could it be a beach? So I venture out in the sand and walk very, very far¬†to see¬†what’s at the end of that sand field, hoping for some water and waves.

Well, no. Probably not. I’ll never know because as I was almost¬†at the end of that huge sand field, ¬†I start noticing weiiiird bugs, similar to fireflies, but with zebra patterns. Holy crap. There’s two.

Nope, four. Five. Ten. They’re following me. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!

So, panicked, I start running back to the far-away street like a retard, with my pink backpack (deemed and named The Ugliest Backpack in the Universe by Mr. Samuel, my African grandpa) like a little schoolgirl.

As I get close to the busy street (still running away from the creatures) with my sight blurred by my movement, I see 5 black faces with huge white smiles. Oh, God, please tell me they’re not laughing at me.

I finally arrive on the sidewalk, and yes, 5 Malians (4 tall men and a woman) are basically CRYING of laughter while pointing at me and speaking Bambara. I want to be pissed that they’re laughing at me, but as I open my mouth, I start LAUGHING and laughing and laughing at myself with them. I can’t help it, as I realize how stupid I must have looked, a tall, grown white¬†woman¬†walking¬†into an empty field of sand and¬†then running back clumsily, panicked.

One of them asks me in broken french what I was running away from.

…. Bugs. Big bugs, I tell them. I try to show them how big they were to justify myself. This only makes them¬†(and me) laugh even more. Then, they tell me it’s not a beach, but a construction site for¬†a monument to celebrate Mali’s 50 years of independence. Great.¬†As I cross the street and continue on my way home, they are still laughin at me.¬†Or as I would say in french, ils se fouttent compl√®tement de ma gueule.


So I’m just smiling to myself, walking home (I’m still super far away and¬†tired from my day). Then, a guy on a motorcycle drives up to me on the sidewalk and offers me a ride, telling me that I’m so beautiful that he literally had to stop his moto, turn around and come see me.

As usual, I say no thanks, I’m almost home (riiiight), no thanks I have a boyfriend, no thanks please leave me alone, etc. But the guy is really insisting and I’m tired. He tells me about his life and how he studies law and is at his third year. He seems geniunely nice,¬†and I’m still far from home, so I’m like ”Ehhh¬†what the heck. You’re in Bamako, let’s live life dangerously.”¬†¬†¬†

So I hop on this stranger’s¬†bike and I’m home in 5 minutes. We exchange phone numbers (it’s not as special as it sounds in the US; here everyone exchanges phone numbers; I have the number of the old woman who sells me tomatoes at the market and doesn’t speak a word of french and that of a delivery guy I saw for 2 seconds at my job.) Well, because I jumped on the occasion and took a risk, I was invited (along with my rommate) to my first Malian wedding next Sunday!!! Le dimanche √† Bamako, c’est le jour du mariage indeed. ¬†

(Then I went out with my roommate and Malian friend Harold to ”dance” but we waited until 2 am, sitting outside on the terrace,¬†only to realized there would be no dancing that night because the room was reserved for a birthday party. We still had interesting conversations while sipping mango juice).

The end of my friday night ūüôā more to come.

~ by seaofcurls on February 14, 2011.

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