A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS FOR ME:
- HOW BIG IS THE CITY?
- HOW MODERN IS IT?
- ARE YOU ABLE TO GET MUCH IN THE LINE OF AMERICAN FOOD?
- HOW FAR IS YOUR CENTER FROM YOUR HOUSE?
- ARE THERE AMERICAN RESTAURANTS THERE?
- WHERE TO YOU NORMALLY GO FOR MEALS?
Technically it’s winter here and although the locals are saying its cold, its basically 70s every day. Ahhhhh.
Dakar is a huge city. Its the capital of Senegal and it is very international. There aren’t as many high sky rises as NYC or even Portland but it is still a city full of taxis, buses, and people.
That being said, it is very modern. Especially in downtown and this other more rich neighborhood, you can find internet and everyone has a celllphone and television here. Things that do plague the city however are smog, and trash-EVERYWHERE. I don’t believe that there is any kind of recycling system and in my house there is only one trash bin outside-no others anywhere in the house. I think it comes with the mentality that things they throw away will be used by someone else-old food on the street for stray cats and dogs.
There is some American food, however not very good quality. I’m not a big fan of “American” food anyway so its okay but the other day we got pizza and it was not all that great. Haha. There is this one international chain restaurant called Caesars right near my neighborhood that sells sandwiches, pizza, and burgers (with fries made in the burgers) but all I care about is that they also serve gelato!
Downtown, there are a lot more “fast food” american restaurants but they aren’t that cheap and great quality. If you want a good meal, there are people who sell omelette sandwiches on the road for less than a dollar! ( a big sandwich too) or people set up communal tables and women make you a meal for lunch or breakfast (huge) for also less than a dollar. And its good quality too-they like to eat clean food as much as us. For breakfast, the main staple people eat is go to a little wooden brioche stand and get a warm baguette smothered with Nutella (they LOVE this stuff!), eggs, or warm beans.
For me, I like anything that is free so I eat all breakfasts and dinners and home which are always good quality unless I’m invited to someone elses’ home for a meal. I also have plenty of time to go home for lunch too but lunch is almost as big as dinner so sometimes I go to this little market closer to school and get some yogurt and pick up some fruit at the stands nearby.
My home is located in Mermoz which is the closest neighborhood to school. There are three different neighborhoods where students can live and I feel like I am very fortunate it only takes me a 15 minute walk to get to school and home everyday. Students who do live in the other neighborhoods (Oakum and Sacre Couer Trois) get travel stipends though every 2 weeks so they can take a “car-rapide” or taxi to school.
Car rapides are these big Volkswagen buses painted elaborately with a boy hanging off the side tell you where it’s going and you hop in, pay 75-100CFA (.10-.25 cents) and you can go anywhere! To get off, you tap a coin on the metal side or roof and the driver hears it and pulls over!