Posts tagged ‘Senegal’

November 17, 2011

Tour d’Afrique

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Motto of the Day: Whole Foods selling pre-washed lettuce is one of the small joys of life one should not ignore.

A Short Note from Africa

My less polished English will make you realize soon that this is not Trish. This is Trish’s friend, Eva. I am currently in the middle of forcibly changing my self-concept in the most western point of Africa: Dakar, Senegal. In my wedding vow I promised my husband to follow him on his way; at that time I did not know this path is somewhat curved.

My Venezuelan friend, who lived in Budapest* told me once that each place he had lived, changed him. I am a bit hesitant whether Dakar is changing me for the better, but here is a list of some of my recent “achievements”:

1. I started driving. Even though there are cute goats staring at you when you stop at crosswalks and cows with easily visible bone structures that block the road, I enjoy it.

2. I jog outside every other day. It is fascinating how many people work out here; hundreds are running on the beach, doing sit-ups at 7 am on sidewalks or push-ups on stairs on the seaside – in a country with over 40% unemployment (I understand there might not be a direct correlation between economy and the desire to do exercise). A photo of the popular ‘Muscle Beach’ is below. There is another reason why I must work out: the French left some really good recipes here when they left the country in 1960. Unfortunately I cannot resist the fresh bread with olives and tomato sauce, the warm baguettes or chocolate croissants sold at almost each corner.

3. I extended my English vocabulary on technical expressions. Power outage became part of my life. Electricity is sporadic, adding a romantic ambience to the apartment. Words like generator, regulator, ups, modem, server would never have become part of my vocab.

4. I reevaluated the real need of having as many clothes as I do. I found an article about European women having 60 bags on average. From here it seems surrealistic that things like that have importance!!!

5. I practice patience every day to release toxic energies like frustration that is not uncommon when one lives outside his/her comfort zone. (There is still room for improvement as far as patience). I do not want to pull out my hair one by one any more when the IT-guy who promised to give me an extension cord shows up with it two days later or when getting a bill in a restaurant takes approximately an hour.

I can already foresee some future changes in my personality after we relocate to Europe/ the US:

1. I will appreciate having electricity all the time even though converting a power outage into a romantic evening with a bunch of candles over the bathtub can be fun. The same applies to the constant supply of water and internet.

2. I will enjoy not having to clorox vegetables and fruits before eating.

3. I will appreciate cabs with doors that can be properly closed and one does not have the feeling that it will fall apart any minute. Seatbelts are simply a luxury here.

4. I will love that trails are not turned into a mutton selling place overnight.

My only hope is that someone who put me here had a good reason to do so, and I will find out what it is :). If you happen to be in the Whole Foods with unlimited access to baby carrots, please enjoy it for me while I am trying to get the answer from the Universe.

* I am from Hungary.

NOTE FROM ETT: Thank you so much, Eva, for this wonderful guest post! I hope you will come back and share your experiences again soon. =) Go check out Eva’s new blog, Tour d’Afrique!