martedì 13 marzo 2012

A lovely lady in Bamako

Finally we left Kenieba and after several hours of tiring bus travel we got to Bamako. The capital of Mali is a rather big city with a few interesting spots (National Museum was really good especially with a guided tour) and a good nightlife mainly concentrated on fridays and Saturdays. We checked the hotels on the city center, nice but too expensive for our budget, Hotel Comme Chez Soi was extremely beautiful and probably worth the 30.000-40.000CFA. We then had a good Cep bu Jen (rice with fish) at a Senegalese restaurant whose waitress, the daughter of the owner, was extremely cute. We found a cheap option over the Niger river at Badalabougou (it means "over the river" in bambara language) at Danaya Hotel whose staff was as shabby as it was the hotel: empty swimming pool, small restaurant closed, very few choice in their small but nice bar. However Mohamed, the manager, was quite fine and friendly even if a bit moody. However the hotel was in a very good position with many ATM's (we found just one BCIM where my VISA was working thanks God), internet points, a couple of discos and a score of colourful Maquis (open-air dance halls) with a score of young girls sadly waiting for clients, especially Toubab clients. Next to the Danaya we discovered a tiny restaurant run by a lovely Malian woman married with a Canadian man working for a dutch NOG. She prepared delicious and cheap meals attracting too many foreigners fed up with expensive bars and restaurants who serve low quality food in the area. During our meal she told us that she travelled and lived widely all western Africa with her husband noticing that most Africans think that all Toubabs (white tourists or residents) are rich if not very rich, it means that they try to "escroquer"to exploite or scrounge them as much as possible. She loved most the Burkina Faso inhabitants, mostly shy but sincerely interested in meeting new cultures. It sounded me interesting thus I wish I can visit this country soon. The lady also told us that the near fishermen village is crowded with so many lovely kids and just to show them to us opened a pack of biscuits and shouted something in bambara, in a few seconds there was a huge but ordered crowd of marvellous local kids, 2 of them were recently adopted by the lady after their mum suddenly died, she even showed us her still filled of milk breast!

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