Trollops Are People Too.

You would have understood if you’d only been there-I just know you would’ve.

Call it a momentary lapse in judgment.  Blame the relentless heat-Dakar does, after all, feel very much like an oven as of late. Or maybe the stress of leaving this country forever in just seventeen days has finally addled my brain. Or the fish! Consuming copious amounts of fish can lead to mercury poisoning, I hear.

That must be it. I have mercury poisoning. It’s the only plausible explanation as to what on earth possessed me to wear a strapless, sunshine yellow pool cover-up outside in a Muslim country yesterday.

Yes, I’m a trollop. Yes, I’m humiliated. But spare me the lecture-Kellan beat you to it.

It all started after church. Michelle and I recently discovered a bakery downtown where the coffee doesn’t taste

Christy and I with the two men that have kept us alive for two whole years. I'm knighting them just as soon as I get home and find my sword.

like liquid trout, and there’s a divine chocolate fudge concoction that makes me cry, it’s so good.

Really, I don’t know why I bother eating anything else.

Using every ounce of my persuasive powers, I shamelessly begged, wheedled and pleaded with Dayton, Michelle, and Christy to venture downtown to said bakery with me after lunch. After they finally acquiesced, I delightedly ran to get ready to go. Pack my rucksack, kiss my loved ones goodbye-you know the drill.

And then it hit me. I have some pretty vicious tan lines from running in the scorching, African sun every day-and in the spirit of getting rid of them,  …well, I decided it would be just brilliant  to throw on my strapless, yellow pool cover-up over a pair of shorts, and wear it to the bakery. You know, uh, since it was a weekend. And I was going with friends. And we weren’t going to be in a part of town where anybody knew us. And…

Mercury poisoning. Remember the mercury poisoning. This is clearly no laughing matter, friends.

Impishly, I walked into the living room looking for all the world like a three year old that had been caught coloring on the wall. Dayton rolled his eyes, thanked his lucky stars that he only had eighteen more days of keeping me alive left, and off we went.

We made it to the bakery without incident, and ate ourselves into the most gloriously mind-numbing chocolate coma you can possibly imagine as my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I reveled in my newfound wardrobe freedom.  As much as I love my Mennonite clothing options in Dakar, there was something delicious about breaking the rules. It was all I could do not to stand up on the table, throw my hand over my heart and belt out the Star Spangled banner. I felt like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton all rolled into one-staging my own, personal protest against a repressive system that treats women as possessions.

While getting rid of my tan lines. I am nothing, if not efficient.

Once we regained the power of movement, Christy, Michelle and I followed Dayton out to the road like three little ducklings as he bartered for a taxi-and then we all piled into the dirty backseat while Dayton sat up front next to our Senegalese driver.

Who seemed, disconcertingly enough, much more interested in the three American girls in his rear view mirror than the cars barreling furiously towards us on the busy road.

Finally, he just couldn’t take it anymore. He turned to Dayton and asked: “Ils sont vos femmes?” [Are they your wives?]

Dayton shook his head furiously as an indignant chorus of “Non!” rang out from the backseat.

With a sly grin, our male-chauvinist-pig driver then hungrily commented, “Vous a beacoup-donne moi un.” [You have a lot-give me one of them.]

He then gave me a drawn-out, lecherous once-over in the rear view mirror and slowly said: “Donne moi elle.” [Give me her.]

Ah, yes. The floozy in the strapless pool cover up. Well, that makes sense.

As I vehemently protested “Absolutement NON!” ,  and tried to remember how to say “snowballs chance in hell” in French, an outraged Christy jumped in and angrily lectured: “Nous ne sommes pas les choses que il peut donner-nous sommes des humaines!” [We are not things that he can give, we’re HUMAN!]

…I don’t know what it was. The sun, the mercury poisoning, my strapless yellow pool cover up or my male chauvinist future husband- but Christy’s incensed, righteously indignant tirade on basic human rights to a man that had probably never had a woman stand up to him before just tickled my funny bone.

And I snorted the rest of the way home.

Our taxi driver, on the other hand, didn’t say another word.

That’s Christy: 1 and Male Chauvinist Pig: 0.

Comments

  1. Laura Adams says:

    Dear Christy,

    I knew there were so many reasons we are friends, but this is just one more reason!

    Love,
    Laura

  2. Tricia King says:

    Dear Christy: You go girl!!!!

    Dear Ashley: Please. Just 17 more days. DO NOT get carried off by a male chauvinist pig taxi driver. Or hit by a bus. Or attacked by some new, crazy African illness. We need you to come home. And for the blog to continue . . . :)

    • Amen. No more bold women’s rights statements for a few days, c’il vous plait

    • I’ll do my best. :) If only because we have a cinnamon roll/coffee date that I simply can’t pass up…AND I’m going to want to hear all about the latest King wedding! I’m so thrilled for Sarah. :) I know you’ll have a ball planning with her! [And you’re just the woman to do it…]

  3. Oh, and Kellan? I’ll have you know that today I kept my mouth zipped during an extensive lecture on why Senegalese men “need” more than one wife, during which the “fact” that “women that only want one husband have been inluenced by western culture” was detailed at great length.

    …I want a cupcake when I get home. If I get home. Because I can’t keep this up.

    • You can have all the cupcakes in Georgetown if you can make it home without being kidnapped, imprisoned or otherwise touching off any international incidents.
      15!

  4. next time... says:
    • Dayton Harris. Where on earth do you come UP with this stuff??

      Paha, I’ll have you know that the girls and I sat around scouring that website and hyperventilating for no less than half an hour last night. Good use of our time. ;)

  5. Kristin says:

    Why oh why oh why oh why isn’t there a photo with this post? A photo of you in said yellow cover up? Girl.

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