giovedì 14 febbraio 2013

Omar the businessman

Last week end we decided to exit the frantic and polluted city of Dakar in order to find some rest and relax in Saly, near Mbour where my friend and his brothers own a huge wonderful villa. The beach is nice and the rythm here is much slower and relaxed, we spent a lovely week end although Saly is a resume of all the consequences that an incontrolloed and unplanned Tourism growth can bring; prices are extremely expensive, a rush in buying a piece of earth where to build your manor often attached to the neighbour wall, concrete buildings invading the sandy beach, lot of discos and bars mostly populated by foreigners and hookers came here to find their life chance with a toubab. RDC, Etage, King, Zanzibar are all pretty similar with these ingredients, We just passed through Somone which anyway seems a more populated and more african spot than Saly as it seems also Mbour, this is definitively a side of Senegal I dont love.
I have just assisted an attempt of theft on a collective bus, called Car Rapide, its my first time but my friend says it happens quite often in these small buses which are the cheapest way of moving around. I will never justify a thief however life in Dakar is extremely expensive even for a european, imagine for a local earning 30 or 40 euro a month.
That weekend in Saly gave me also the opportunity to meet Omar who is a very nice and friendly man. He is in the beginning of his forties, married with a french lady and living in Paris with their lovely metices kids, hes a businessman importing and exporting African clothes. He loves living in a luxurious style, spend all his time answering one of his many mobiles, travelling around the world, eating in expensive restaurants, staying at top level five stars resorts and driving very nice cars. So far nothing special you would argue....and I would agree with you, anyway I reazlized that other than his French wife he has an African woman who knows he is married with the french lady and suspects he has some other women...yes he also likes a lot women. In the following days I met a second African wife and I have been told that he has many more in Africa, I was astounded for how to difficult his life should be, how careful he should alwys be with them, how expensive but also probably rewarding should be to have so many kids around Europe and Africa. What really puzzle me is the reason he like this kind of game. I dont blame him, as far as he feels confortable with his mind and with his heart, there must be no problem, also every woman probably feels whats going on but accept it because he is heavily supporting them, letting them a few days of luxurious life a few days per month and give them all they needs to grow their kids. But why to copmlicate your life is such a strange African way?????

mercoledì 6 febbraio 2013

An interesting afternoon chez Tierno

Being a curious, or maybe a nosy, guy I often bisiege my Senegalese host with too many questions. Yesterday I exploited Tierno patience and sympathy; we were sitting on his sofa while his lovely child Bigue was watcing some cartoons on the lap top and his huge nighbour family rushing frantically and noisilly preparing for their new born baptism ceremony. Tierno explained that in Senegal getting pregnant out of a wedding is still a huge taboo, a shame for all the family and its not uncommon that the gulty woman is asqked to leave the house and run away. As a result Senegalese men generally don't like to get involved in a relationship with a woman who already has a child letting these women with a very few options like searching for a Nasaran  or white man (this is the real African Dream) or for the same purpose but also for getting a better paid job, they start a prostitute career in those centreville or Almadie or saly disco and bars filled with foreign tourists. When I went to Le Patio bar with Mario, I liked to talk with these girls perceiving immediately the huge difference between those professional, cold, tough ones and a bunch of still nice, discouraged but sill hoping others.
In Senegal too habits are changing fast, especially in Dakar, anyway, if you go to smaller town like Kaolak or to the villages, virginity is still considered a great symbol of purity, respect and honour to the point that in some houses a first night wedding blood stained  sheet is proudly hung on the wall for years.
I didn't dare to ask my friend if his nice spouse, who actually is a cousin of him, got virging to the wedding, but I do suspect she was.