Eating Ivory Coast 10 Dollar French Fries
Video of what has to be the most expensive order of French Fries in my life, here in Ivory Coast last week. I told Deborah, I do not like Alacole the Fried Banana Plantains, therefore she decides to cook me some Frits. (Literally fried, but truly French Fried Potatoes
Made with Pommes de Terre, more or less apple from the ground in French. I am not sure I had a choice in this decisions, I was carried away in the moment.
This is Deborah, she just went off to College in Abidjan last week, I believe she needed money for school, and she is a clever one. This situation was a man-trap of sorts; it all seemed simple starting because I did not want to pay 20 cents U.S. for the Fried Bananas. Deborah volunteers to make me French Fries; she wants 2000 CFA or about four Dollars in advance.
When you watch the movie, watch her butt muscles, she has the "Made-In-Africa" butt, an amazing anatomical African difference; I tried to explain the term "Bubble Butt," to here, but was lost in translation.
Grand Bassam, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa --- Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This is the family, the happy grin girl is Eva, she truly has perma-grin, a very happy person, and sells me two boiled eggs for 40 cents US every night, while I sit around and have the girls of this family surround me with fun.
This is Angel my French teacher, she did not talk to me for the first five days, and then suddenly I am her best friend. She walks around picking up things, saying the word in either French or Apolo the local language, then she waits until I repeat. There was a word "Toh Pu Ma" that I could not pronounce the other day, she made me repeat it 15 times, she is strict.
I tend to think I am tone death, not good for a person that now speak French and Spanish, plus I still do not know what "Toh Pu Ma" is, I think it is Manoc, but hard to say, it was wrapped in a banana leaf.
Victoire is the sister in red, she also went off to school, and I would describe her as the older sister, shy and alluring type, truly wistful, coy and one you notice walking away or close, watch the video, you will see.
10 Dollar French Fries
Ok, I gave Deborah 2000 CFA the first day, the next day after I ate a couple of plates of the Frits she walks into my personal space and says, "l’argent." (Money) I say, how much and she says 2000... I do not have a 2000 CFA bill, so I sort of wave a 5000 around, hoping she will take it and go get change. Yes, she took it, and walked away, never looking back, an amazing thing this African culture, there is no doubt in my mind she feels 5000 CFA about 10 dollars is not even money to me, just extra stuff.
This asking-for-Cadeaux-culture (Gifts a.k.a. Money, Cash) is one of them terms of endearments here in West Africa. I both love it and hate it, there is a never-ending tickle going on around me, from can I keep the change Cadeaux, to the you need to support me Cadeaux for dating girls here. Anyway I do it, there is small nick taken out of my pocket cash from time to time.
Just yesterday, Yoland, one of the sweetest of sweet sisters was in need of a new hair braid, I asked her how much it cost, she said 2000 CFA, and somehow 1000 came from me. She is like a niece to me, part of the family, hard to refuse. There is always a weak part of me when it comes to the womans hair here. The West Africa girls cannot grow hair longer than about three inches, after that, it falls out. I imagine my three sisters, and I am sure, looking in the mirror is part the life of my three sisters, and wanting to look in the mirror at your hair seems be a need to me for beautiful girls, not a want.
Note, I paid 7000 CFA for the French Fries; I am trying to forget, hope they do not want to cook them again next week.
I have not changed, I have accepted this main blog area is only entertainment for readers, therefore I am entertaining.
We soon will have 200 different topic blogs, a reader could read about smartphone only, or opinions on politics. Each will stay on one specific topic. I finally accepted readers do not enjoy extreme variances in subjects.
This entry shows some true traveling wisdom. This shows that you not only understand the culture in which you are interacting, but your place in it as well -- the second part of this statement is perhaps the most important.
You did not pay $10 for French fries, you paid $10 to enjoy yourself, be with friends, as you said, play the game. Perhaps there is nothing better to pay for.
Such is life on the roadsometimes we get hustled but I agree with the above comment you paid not for french fries but for the experience. And there are a dozen ways to rationalize such excess spending to make oneself feel better.
A hustle is paying 5 dollars for coffee at Starbucks, a hustle is buying food in the airport, a hustle is paying 100 dollar for a dinner date in the USA and not getting a kiss goodnight.
Look at the clothing of Deborah, she dressed up in great fashion and she wanted me to prove I was generous and prove it in front of her friends. This was a test to see if I would make a good husband, or would I become angry, do I have the ability to overlook.
Angel the daughter has come and hugged me everyday for 30 days while I have been here.
Now Now, Andy, no need to "preach to the choir? I totally agree with your examples of a "hustle" above but none the less when anyone anywhere charges anyone MUCH MORE than the going "market rate / price" for any service or product I consider it dishonest and a "hustle". I suppose each of us can define various ways of being taken advantage or of simply being "tested" of "teased" by another human being for reasons other than the shallowness of monetary benefit. In many such circumstances BOTH persons maintain fond memories of the event.