A couple weeks ago I read a blog post that really inspired me. Actually, all I read was the title of the post as it came up in my Twitter feed: You cannot love a city if you do not know a city. To date, I still haven’t gone back to actually read the post, but the title really struck me, and stuck with me.
So we’ve been taking every opportunity (and creating some!) to get out and explore Dakar. It’s easier to go to the places we know and that feel familiar to us, but getting out of our bubble is the goal.
Today we rode across town to the area of Dakar called Les Almadies. I’ve been to Les Almadies many times, but the destination was always either Le Méridien Hotel for a day at the beach or Le Récife restaurant for dinner. But today we burst the bubble and walked the neighborhood.
But I did enjoy one of my old favorites: fresh orange juice, straight from the orange itself. Along the beaches there are women selling snacks such as peanuts, fried beignets, frozen bissap and other drinks, etc… An orange costs between 50-100cfa (about 10-20 cents). With a sharp knife, they peel off the outer layer in one long strip, then slice off the top.
Voilà. Just squeeze and drink until dry.
In case you were wondering, the name ‘Les Almadies’ actually comes from ‘Al Mahdi’, the Arabic name for the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will come before the Day of Judgment and will with Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.
So far we’ve explored the neighborhoods of Les Almadies, Hann-Maristes, Fenêtre Mermoz and the Corniche, spending about half a day walking around in each location. We also did a pretty in-depth visit of nearly every store and shop on rue Abdoul Karim Bourgi downtown. Any suggestions of where to go next Saturday?