Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gambia Day Three: The Minister of Defense

Gambia Day Three: The Minister of Defense

Did I mention, we're the only ones here? It's offseason, but it's perfect. We have the entire resort to ourselves.

The currency here is the dalasi. One dollar equals thirty dalasis. Apparently, the average weekly wage in Gambia is one dollar. I notice this fact first hand when we eat a plate of curry at the resort restaurant and tip 120 dalasis (four dollars). The guy's eyes light up. It feels good to be looked upon as rich. In the States, we're just Black.

Linds and I have been arguing. She wants to go out to the town. To the markets, the restaurants. I wanna stay within the comfort of the compound and the nearby beach. It has come to a head today. "You're addicted to 'no,'" she says, then she alludes to my cowardice. I realize that I have no choice. I have to explore. Soon.

Abdoulie, this papa-like guy in his early fifties, makes a pitch to us about tours around Gambia. We sign up for the Roots tour. After his spiel, he goes, "What's that?" to Linds. And Linds is like, "It's a iPad", and he goes, "Is that the latest?" And Linds, goes, "Yeah," and snaps a picture of him. He marvels at the quality of the photo. Again, we feel like rockstars or better still rockstars from the future.

Nothing but guys here. They're ogling Linds. They think they're being slick. Some of more respectful ones look at me like, "What do you do in the States to get a dime like her" and I'm thinking, who this fair-skinned, Jim Crow beaute? Ummm...teach public school.

These two guys in suits come thru the reception area today. One of them, we find out, was the Minister of Defense for Ghana. We're astounded. They immediately come up to us and starting bragging about their wealth.

"I had my holiday here ten years on half this resort."

"I've been to Washington, DC and New York to meet with the President of Liberia."

"I love American stock. I bought one thousand dollars of it. It's so easy!"

Even the white South African guy was sucking up to them.