Monday, August 06, 2007


Ruby Minis

I had never had the mini-hamburgers that Ruby Tuesday sells. They were really good! And a great idea if you want 2 or 3 types of burgers but don't want to eat 1.5 lbs of meat.

Visited with my grandparents and brother this weekend. I even got to see a couple friends and hang out a bit. Brother had never heard of the Wii before but that didn't stop him from winning a couple tennis matches and getting a few strikes Wii bowling. My brother shares a name with ESC's brother, Moses' brother and the guy I met at the Atlanta autocross at Turner Field a few weeks ago. All great guys. He met me at Grandma's house and we proceeded to bombard him with questions. I'm sure all he's done since he's been back has been answer questions.

What do they eat? Are there grocery stores? Any fast food places? Are they hardcore Saudi type Muslims or more progressive?

Most Senegalese people are poor and shop in the open air markets and you can find lots of vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes (although he said the sweet potatoes are white on the outside and he couldn't remember their color inside), and the meats are mostly fish with some chicken and lamb. There are more Western grocery stores with refrigerated sections and air conditioning that is more expensive, so it's mostly middle and upper class people that shop there. These are mainly French owned so you can find pork products and other things that most Muslims don't eat. No American fast food joints (Wikipedia says there are only McD's in 3 countries in Africa, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco) but there are some French fast food places. He said ground beef is the least inexpensive meat besides fish so he eats those alot. He mostly cooks at home. He is one of 3 single male teachers at his school. Lots of single female teachers though and he's dating a nice girl from near St. Louis who he met over there. Oh, at the French grocery store you can also find beer and liquor which they don't sell at any Muslim establishments.

Smoking and drinking aren't allowed on-campus and the teacher's apt. complex is on campus which means I would have to sneak in my libations if I ever taught there. The French influence has fortunately saved the country from oppresive Islamic rule like in Saudi Arabia. Women can go in public by themselves and can drive if they want.

On the weekends he will either sleep alot or go to the beach or visit friends. He said the Senegalese culture is more focused on human interactions than "things" to do, which in my mind means no go-kart tracks or amusement parks. A few of the kids families have PS2s and Xboxes. He wasn't sure if anyone had a PS3 or 360 but I'm sure someone does. There are some embassy kids that attend his school that probably have one. Assuming he can find AA batteries, I think a Wii with 4 Wiimotes and nunchuk and a few games would make him the cool teacher on campus. Power outages are worse in the summer when it's hot, but we're used to those from living in other 3rd world locales.

He leaves to go back a week from today so if anyone has any messages that need to be delivered to Western Africa, I know a guy.


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