Freetown, Baby!

Seduction Salone Style by mabrajeux
February 16, 2010, 1:31 pm
Filed under: society | Tags: , ,

Number of marriage proposals: 1

Although I was pretty pleased with this achievement as I considered my first three weeks in Freetown, apparently by local standards I’m not really doing that well…

Truth is, people in Sierra Leone are generally incredibly friendly. Greetings are an important part of the local Krio culture and it’s very common to greet people you cross in the street, saying either ‘hello’ or ‘Aw di bodi?’(krio for ‘how are you?’ – watch this space for more info). People also often ask you your name, which is a bit unsettling at first, as if they are somehow invading your privacy but you soon get used to it and if I had a better memory, I’d be on first name term with half of Freetown!

But walking around the streets of Freetown you also encounter a more interested kind of attention… It ranges from shouts of ‘white girl, white girl’ when you walk down the street to the fully fledged promise of eternal devotion and marriage proposal… (well, just the one in my case) Although this attention is a little strange to get used to, you can soon tell the good-humoured banter from the more intrusive hassle and you learn to reply or walk past.

This seductive trait, along with Salone friendliness and willingness to chat can lead to amusing conversations, which can soon resemble an orderly interrogation, as I experienced a few days ago.

On my way to Congo Cross from town, I hailed a taxi and settled between a policeman and another man, Sham.

    – Sham: What’s your name?
    – Me: Mary
    – Where are you from?
    – France
    – Are you married?
    – I live with my boyfriend.
    (slight turn of the head) Yes, but are you married?
    – No, but I live with my boyfriend.
    – Is he black or white?
    – White
    – Black and white is beautiful colours together, I want to be your friend (a euphemism apparently often used in Salone courtship…)
    – Sure (while in fact not being very sure at all…)
    – Can I come and see you where you live?
    – I don’t think my boyfriend would be very happy.
    – I need to come and see you when your boyfriend is not there.
    (finally at a loss of a better way of phrasing it) No.
    – OK.

And so the courtship ended and we moved on to discussing our respective religions (with personal inquisitions to boot) and the amazing cohabitation of different religions in Sierra Leone, which will be a subject for another post…


2 Comments so far
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Ahahah je surkiffe ton histoire!

Ca a l’air vraiment chouette freetown. Tu restes jusqu’à quand? (en fait pour le dire autrement, tu rentres en France pour ton PhD finalement????)



Comment by marion

[…] station warden about me. Also, after a pretty successful run at the airport where I was proposed to twice more, I’ve not had a single proposal since I got back, which is definitely a disappointment… […]

Pingback by It’s confusing… « Freetown, Baby!

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