Bamako, Mali

  • Date
  • 31 March 2000
  • Lodging
  • Hotel de l'Amitie
  • Distance
  • 219 KM
  • Total
  • 66570 KM

Our breakfast consisted of bread, fried eggs and Nescafe with powdered milk. Then Ben, the hotel owner, walked us through the market to find the car insurance office. While Jim filled out untold forms, I observed the market.

Women had come from villages up to six kilometers away with their produce and goods piled on their heads as they walked the dirt paths to town. The women sold lemons, tomatoes, homemade meatballs, fabrics, peanuts, mint and more. Most sold the same thing as the woman beside her. I watched young women in their 20s nurse their babies openly. One woman tied her baby to her back as is common here. She balanced the baby around her body, tied the rectangular piece of fabric (which rarely goes with the matching dress and headscarf) at the base of her bosoms and then tied the top piece above her bosoms. I also found a tailor who sewed a snap onto Jim’s hat. This took all of 10 minutes and cost 250 CFA. As the man wrote down the price for his work, he could barely look me in the eyes thinking I’d never accept his high price. But paying less than 50 cents for the instant sewing of the snap seemed a real deal.