Chased out by an angry Pulaar womanPosted: June 9, 2011
My friend Yasmin and I decided to go into the market yesterday, we had a couple of things we wanted to buy but after that we decided to browse around. We thought it would be a typical day at the market, but it turned out to be anything but. While browsing, I ended up buying some perfume and she bought 2 pairs of shoes. As she was purchasing the shoes she decided she wanted black elastic bands for her hair, unfortunately all the store that we were in at the time had were multi-colored ones, so we decided to make it our mission to find black ones. We walked all through the market stopping in every beauty store we saw asking people if they had black elastic bands, but they kept giving us the multi-colored ones. Getting a little annoyed at this we decided to give up our search until one man suggested we ask the ladies that set-up booths up and down the market selling earrings, necklaces and such, if they have them. I stopped at one lady and asked, she said that all she had were multi-colored one. I told Yasmin that I think this was a hopeless search and I asked her if she might want to consider getting the multi-colored ones. She said she’d take them and we started bargaining over the price. Yasmin wasn’t happy with the price that the lady was trying to give us for two packets so we told her “No thank you, we don’t want them” and that’s when all hell broke loose, she started yelling at us that we HAVE to take them because she took the 2 packets off the string that was holding all the other packets. We told her that no we didn’t them so she thrust the packets in Yasmin’s hands and said she had to buy them. Now all this was happening in a mix of French and Pulaar and poor Yasmin doesn’t speak a word of Pulaar (she lives with another ethnic group) and not a lot of French. So I’m in the middle of this trying to tell the woman that we don’t want this and to leave us alone, and translating to Yasmin what is going on because now this woman is man-handling her. She told Yasmin that if she’s not buying the rubber-bands that the woman is taking Yasmin’s shoes that she just bought as ransom. She starts grabbing for the bag, Yasmin held on tight until the bag ripped and a shoe fell out that the woman lunged for. She refused to give Yasmin back her shoe, which might I remind you Yasmin still isn’t too sure as to what is going on here. I’m sitting there yelling at the woman in French/Pulaar and this distracts her enough for Yasmin to grab her shoe back. After that I tell Yasmin that we should just get out of there. We walk away from the stand with the woman and her friends from neighboring stands yelling at us. We stop a little ways away so I can put Yasmin’s shoes in my backpack for safe keeping when all of the sudden Yasmin looks behind her to find the woman coming towards us. We start to walk away and we see that now she’s running after us!! We decided to just start running and head for the main street, luckily we lost her. Once we got back to our bikes to head home, we took a minute and looked at each other in shock and can hardly believe that we really got chased out of the market by an angry Pulaar lady?? At least I can say shopping in Senegal isn’t boring!