We swam, we dined. The first ice-cream since long, the first lasagne too. Had a warm shower, how I’ve missed that. How I’ve gotten used to cold ones too. I’m glad but with mixed feelings. Luxury is great, don’t get me wrong, but the last week was adventurous and eye opening. I can’t really feel the Gambia, or the way the people live when I’m safely protected by airco and everything else this hotel has to offer. Give me 20 mosquito bites per night and simple huts any day. This morning I woke up without being sticky thanks to the air conditioning we fixed without paying. We’re Dutch after all. Some pancakes and jam and delicious Wonjo juice. I’ve finally found the energy to do some make-up around here. Not that it will not melt off my face as soon as the sun starts shining. Up to a forest walk, palm wine and a hand reader slash magician or whatever.
And I’m sticky again, who would have guessed. We took the bus to Makasutu or something like that, and some of us enjoyed a complementary coffee or tea. Too hot for me. After that we got to two boats and started a tour through the mangroves, passing oyster roots and swimming Gambian boys. We had a little walk through the holy forest and ended up at the house of a fortune teller. Today he was about a hundred years old, he thought. For only 100 Dalasi or about €1,80, he would read your palm. Almost everyone wanted their fortune to be told, so it took hours to be finished. When it was my turn, I didn’t know what to expect. Most kids had heard they’d get a busy job, children etc. , no worries for money and a long and healthy life. Now mine was similar for the most part.
Yes I would get a very busy job and I would live long with pride and would see even my great grandchildren. One or two or more kids. A healthy job where lots of people would look up to me. I would always return safely while travelling and money wasn’t a problem. I will become very happy with my husband, who will wait for me and be the right one. I will be proud of what I do, my kids and theirs. Whatever and wherever life brings me, I will always be at peace. Nothing was mentioned about my health, of course. Anyway, I can secure this future by buying 5 times 2 bananas and give them to five children, two bananas each. The children must be two boys and three girls. I’ll also have to buy/wear a silver bracelet on my left hand.
After this we went to a palm wine farm and tasted some. 0.05% alcohol, the taste would be better than the smell. Not that great. A man showed us how to climb the palm tree and we could also try. After that some lunch. Here it began. I know I can be rather stupid but this time I really amazed myself. Had put lovely food on my plate, including some peppers. The first thing I did was eat a pepper of about 9 squared cm; I put it literally whole in my mouth. Chewing went well but then after I had swallowed it, I came to realise the pepper was a tiny bit too hot, just a tiny bit. To great amusement for all around me, I tried anything from water to Fanta to breathing and white rice. I even started to tear up and it was hilarious of course. The rice helped a bit but the whole thing lasted for about 10 minutes or longer.
To forget what happened the plates were cleared and we were given some strange red juice which makes me wonder whether they now syrup needs water added before drinking, and some bananas. Not, they are all green here, some are even red. Not many yellow ones though. Then we went to the near shops with mostly wood carving where I got two more free souvenirs. I don’t know how, but it’s okay. A photo with the entire big Dutch/Gambian family later, we drove back to a market where I bought my 10 bananas and 2 extra, to give to the kids. Three girls and two boys, the rest to the rest saying they need to share. All were very calm in accepting my gift, the other kids we encountered the last days could learn a lot from them. Now we’re back at the hotel and have had quite an emotional goodbye, at least for Assan. Hugs and waves, now I’m going to join the rest for a swim. More later.