Senegal 9 – St. Louis


I forget the last time that I’ve written in here (wow, its been a couple weeks – I feel guilty for not keeping in touch). Anyways, an update about the music CD scene. I went down to the markets on the main streets, comprised of dozens of shops almost like a maze, selling anything from luggage, clothes and shoes (Diesel and G-unit are popular brands guys my age here, and is worn by many of those who can afford it), fresh fruit (melons, mangos), peanuts, and other food. Traveling through them, I asked vendors where to find a shop, and after a few who courtiously told me ‘la-bas’ (over there, very vaguely), one of them walked me a shop in the maze that was selling music, electronics (cell phone gadgets, etc), and bootlegged DVDs (mainly Jean-Claude Van Damme flicks). I asked for a general, current mixtape and was offered for a price of 3000 CFA. Being the only the second place in ST louis that I’ve found music, I was more accepting of that price than I probably should have, meekly offered 2500 CFA and walked away. I didn’t hear the ‘pssts’ that you normally do (and a more favorable price that follows) when you walk away, so I turned around and paid the 3000 CFA.

Few days later, I checked it out on Leah’s computer and got about 70-80 random MP3s, I’ve only begun to listen to some of it, it’s good and I’m only bitter than I overpaid for it (Professor Diallo and Bouba, a Senegalese classmate informed me that copied CDs and random mixtapes should only go for 1000-1500 CFA; original copies of CD’s should go for 2000-3000 CFA). Knowing that, I can give the price to the vendor, stick to it, and hopefully get the offer I want as I walk away). To the CD that I bought, I’m a bit disappointed that I got ripped off of four US dollars (and you know i’m a frugal kid), it’s probably relatively less than what it could have been and I just need to be more assertive and patient in bargaining).

Oh, last week, our group and I went to a couple soccer matches last Thursday. Bouba, a classmate of mine, plays for a club team in St. Louis (senegal). Arriving at 1030ish, it was an interesting and long experience (there were matches going on all night, starting from 8 Pm to 2/3 AM), and 300 CFA got you admittance for the entire night, but an extra 200 CFA if you wanted to sit on a lawn chair (we gladly did that). Then we moved into the cramped bleachers, once the seats started to thin out around 1ish (when Bouba’s match started). His team, Cosmos, won 2-1. One of the ladies brought their camera, so i’ll let you know of photos when they come online. Its around 1pm, so I’m off to return to the house for lunch.

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