Take the quiz below to find out just how much of a toubab (slang for ‘white person’) you are.
1. Your coffee if served:
a. from a Keurig.
b. from a coffeemaker is there’s power, a stove-top moka pot if there’s not.
c. in a tan-colored plastic cup, which you may or may not toss on the side of the road.
2. When you hear someone talk about their new ‘booboo’, you:
a. reach for a Band-Aid.
b. think of the one hanging in your closet that you wore to that baptism/party/holiday thing. What was that event anyway?
c. switch your chew stick to the other side and wondered what quality the bazin fabric is.
3. Before eating fruits or vegetables, you first:
a. check with the server/your cook to be sure they have been properly cleaned, bleached, peeled and/or boiled.
b. quick dip/soak in water with a splash of Javel.
c. run them under water to rinse off the dust. Maybe.
4. Taking a Dakar taxi is:
a. an adventure!
b. much nicer than a St-Louis taxi.
c. ridiculously overpriced.
5. Vermoxx is:
a. on the night stand next to your Méflaquin tablets.
b. your best friend every six months or so.
c. something sick people take.
6. Time to relax! We’re headed to:
a. The King Fahd.
b. La Voile d’Or.
c. The Surf Shack.
7. When a vendor gives you their first price, you can expect to barter down:
a. 10 to 15% and everyone leaves happy.
b. 30 to 50% and then promise to send all your friends to him in the future.
c. at least 50% and all in Wolof, which means you understood when his friend called you a cheapskate.
8. Your source for drinking water is:
b. the Kirène factory or a double-bucket filter.
c. a girl with a bucket.
9. Bine-bines are:
a. perfect for decorating a child’s Christmas tree.
b. not to be worn around your neck. Don’t ask how I know this.
c. to be worn in no less that three strands. Glow-in-the-dark = bonus points.
10. The best burgers in town:
a. arrived early in the morning with your friend who just flew back from the US and brought you a bag of Burger King.
b. are at Time’s Café.
c. come with a fried egg and grated Emmental cheese.
11. To verify an Orange promotion, you can:
a. ask the fruit vendor.
b. check the orange.sn website.
c. look at the front page of the newspaper.
12. When you go to a friend’s house, you:
a. sit on furniture that was issued from the same place as yours.
b. notice some new décor and ask if it came from Orca.
c. take off your shoes and ask if you can charge your cell phone.
* Mostly A: Wàcc bees
You are toubab of the toubabs, a ‘new arrival’ as they say in Wolof. You’ve found a way to live comfortably (enough) in a new environment, which is no small feat. You may find the other toubabs flocking to your house to soak up the AC and iced beverages, drifting into relaxation to the gentle hum of your generator.
* Mostly B: Toubab bu nuul
You’re a Senegalized toubab. The wàcc bees are surprised by how you’ve gone local and the kaw-kaws aren’t quite sure what to think of your clinging to Western ways. The good thing is, you’re in a position to help introduce your wàcc bees friends to more of Senegal while giving your kaw-kaw buddies a chance to reconnect with their previous life.
* Mostly C: Kaw-kaw nga, dé.
You’re reading this from a cybercafé, aren’t you? Your knowledge and understanding of Senegal is impressive. (Odds are, you scoffed at some of these questions because my C options weren’t quite right.) You have a lot to offer newcomers as they learn and adjust… but you may need a toubab bu nuul to interpret for you as speaking complete sentences in English rekk is now a challenge for you.
So, just how toubab are you?