Honk If You Love Me

Do you ever feel famous? Like a movie star walking down the street? Every day in Dakar I feel like that. I feel like I am Tom Cruise and everyone wants to meet me. Why’s that you ask? Well it’s the taxi drivers. When the local taxi drivers see me, a white guy or toubob, walking along the road they have a fit.

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Lets Get Ethnic Then

Its Friday in Senegal and than means its time to go ethnic, in clothing that is. Friday is the day that Muslims here are called to the mosque to pray so they break out their finest boubou to show respect. Catching wind of this, I broke out my own ethnicity and wore a guayabera to work today.

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The Edge of Africa, Trashed

Today I went for a run around Ngor and ran out to Pointe des Almadies, the western-most point in Africa. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe a Key West scene or maybe a dull marker like the equator in Kenya. It was a whole different story in Senegal. The western-most point has a Club Med on one side, a private house on the other, and a little group of bars and trinket and food stalls in between.

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Another Birthday Abroad

Looking at the clock I see its 10pm here, 5pm in Washington, DC, and I am about to run out of time at the cyber cafe and battery power on my laptop. This would be a good thing since I’m still working on Geekcorps stuff, after a full day at the Geekcorps Senegal office. So another 12-hour day ends for me, just in time for dinner and a shower before bed. Oh, did I mention this is my birthday? Or well it kinda is and kinda isn’t.

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Senegalese Sprinting Society

Ever wonder how to attract the attention of kids in Africa? Well I can tell you exactly how to captivate an entire mob of kids in Senegal: run by with a GPS and a digital camera. Now you can just run by and they’ll call and maybe run with you for a bit, but if you have toys, preferably cool toys, you now have an instant fan base.

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A Little Russia in Ngor

At first I was a little confused. The lady behind the counter would not take my money. I wanted that fancy little Danish, or since it was a French bakery, the pastry, and she had it in her hand, but she refused the usual cash for product exchange. Slowly, I realized I should pay her friend at the cashier. So I did and a receipt I received. That’s when the lady snapped the receipt out of my hand and gave me my dessert, and I realized I was dealing with the Soviet three-line system. Devised by some customer-hating apparatchik, the three-line system strives to laborize and extended what should be an efficient and quick purchasing system.

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Surf’s Up in Senegal

In ‘The Endless Summer’ two surfers travel around the globe looking for waves while California is deep in is doldrums. The first stop for these world-wanderers: Dakar. In the movie, they surf some crap beach break, which made me think that I shouldn’t expect much from Senegal. With tiny swells breaking on miniscule beaches, I wasn’t impressed enough to even get my toe wet in the ocean. This afternoon, I switched hotels, and when I opened the French doors (of course!) to my balcony(!) and looked out, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, just in front of the hotel was a small island with the most amazing and heart-stopping long waves breaking around it on both sides. Like a pear wrapped in gold, or a diamond incrusted with emeralds, the view stopped me speechless and dumbstruck.

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Dozing in Dakar

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.

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Hi Jacque, Welcome to Dakar!

Six in the morning and I’m standing outside Senegal’s main airport, Dakar International, with my bags at my feet and an ache in my head. Its been seven hours and two Tylenol PM’s since I left Washington DC in a mad rush to make this flight. I am still kinda shocked at the mileage of this week. Monday was a DC workday before I caught an evening flight to California. There I pitched Geekcorps to HP on Tuesday for a $1.2 million. Yes, HP as in Hewlett Packard, and yes, I was nervous as hell.

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