Senegal, February 5, 2005
And its going le put-put, not zoom-zoom
Now I wanna say that I like Dakar, really wanna say I love it, but actually I don't. I don't dislike it either now, it just is, I guess. It is a tropical African city, exciting and amazing if you happen to speak French and or happen to be a woman. As a non-Frenchie guy, the place isn't what Yana, a French-speaking black woman, would make it out to be.|
For me, Dakar, with its French + Muslim culture is... well it's a bore. And I day this with a heavy heart and much investigation. Sleepless with jet lag and high on Lariam, I wandered the streets of Dakar all night Friday and Saturday. In many an alley I looked, down many a streets I walked, into a few bars I ducked. Now there were people out, and much fun to be had, but only if you know French. If you are like me, and missing that gene, it was a lot of yapping in a strange tongue.
Now if you were a French-speaking man, it could still be a bore, since Senegal is Muslim. Its not Turkey or anything, but still, there is no mistaking the Muslim feel to the country. Manifested in daily life more than Kenya, Malaysia, or Indonesia, Senegal feels like Ethiopia, even though the latter is Christian, because the majority of people out were of the masculine persuasion. Not that I have anything against that, but as my friends will tell you, I gravitate towards the ladies. Sports, wives, kids, these things I do not know. Fashion, shopping, beauty, these things I love. And so you often, if not always, find me in the company of women.
So a bar in Dakar, full of men yapping in French, does not hold much for me. Interestingly, as I asked English-speaking French men during the day, Dakar doesn't hold much for them either. Most were here either to escape a winter with a weekend wifed in the sun or were like me, here for work.
Now for the ladies, as Yana will confirm with vigorous head-nodding, Senegal is a dream come true. Almost as good as Angolan Independence Day, a weekend in Dakar ranks high on her Princess Lay-Me list. This I cannot contest, as I have to admit, there are a plethora of very hot, very manly, and very youthful men here. With less class than the French but more than the Italian, they do make the tourist women feel the Queen. Like on Zanzibar, beach boys are not uncommon in the arms of older European women. Hey, power to them too! It's nice to see men appreciated in the oldest profession, equal to the women.
Still, if you're a guy headed this way, bring the Misses, as it will be the only (non-commercial) female company you'll get.