Some may called it ‘being spoiled’. I prefer to called it ‘getting resourceful’.

My view from the passenger’s seat of Cheikh at the fruit & veggie stand

Most grocery stores here don’t have a produce section. Instead, you buy your fruits and veggies at outdoor stands. Often the stands are run by young men from Guinea who speak Pulaar. So in addition to to your produce, you can also get a free language lesson. To date, I’ve only learned how to say “Thank you,” and “I don’t speak Pulaar.” (But just because I’m not taking advantage of this opportunity doesn’t mean others shouldn’t. Let me know how it goes for you.)

Not exactly the refrigerated section of Kroger/HyVee…

Anyway… with Pape things are a bit trickier now. For example, getting in and out of a vehicle, picking out produce and then carrying the bags are much more complicated these days.

Now Cheikh may be the muscles on these shopping trips, but I’m the brains that make the list of items we need to buy. Together as we were driving down the road towards our favorite fruit and veggie stand, we concocted a plan.

We got resourceful.

Diallo weighing my veggies

The plan: Cheikh would drive up on the sidewalk and park in the ‘spot’ right in front of the stand. This would put me, on the passenger side, close enough to see the produce and tell Diallo (the vendor) what I wanted without me having to get out of the vehicle. Then Cheikh could get out and pay and help load the bags into the trunk. Good plan, eh?

This is how I managed to buy carrots, tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, cilantro, apples and mangoes (about 60 cents/lb!) – all from the comfort of the passenger’s seat and within an arm’s reach of Pape.

Loading bags into the trunk

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we may have developed the first Senegalese-style drive-thru system.