Market day in Africa

20 Nov
Bata Market

Bata Market

It is Saturday… I can’t really say that weekends exist around here. At least not in my neighbourhood. Saturday is a working day as you remember but should technically be only half a day. I landed a 3/4 full working day. Sunday, should be a friends and family day. Mine, well, mine is a half working day starting with the roosters first call. So that leaves you time to do your hair, clean on Sundays since it’s the cleaning lady’s day off, crash other people’s lunches or Sunday trips when possible, watch cartoons on TV, resolve issues with yourself, catch up on your reading, walk around, count your white hair, learn how to cook, do cross words, find a cure for cancer or grow tomato’s.

Today I am going to the market with a local French family I have met since I’m here. A French marin, his wife and their 3 children. Hopefully, I will come back charged as a donkey with enough vegetables to keep me busy for the next few days cooking vegetable stews. Since outside the weather is grey and heavy and inside the weather is a bit dull, I call this day – an official EG Cocktail day !! For some it will be the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau and red carpet. For others, cocktails with red straws. I’m drawing mine before official cocktail time !


Egg report : As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I have bought eggs for the first time and according to most, it’s a perilous thing to do here. Last night I made an omelet. Today, I am still standing ! Victorious eggs !


I have returned from the market today with my first vegetable basket in two weeks, and had a green lettuce, cucumber tomato salad with French Vinegar sauce and nothing else… It was fresh. It was good. It was lovely !!

The market is an interesting place. You can find the basic vegetables : potatoes, tomatoes, (very small)  lettuce, eggplants, carrots, avocado, onions, some garlic if you search well, little spices here and there. Pineapples (huge) and bananas for the fruit section… That’s about it. While walking through the stands, I got to the meat section. Mini crocodiles lying on tables and other wild animals that I could not bare to look at… Fish and meat parts spread out all over…Flies… Let’s say that the vegetables were a great find and I stopped at that !


My man freed himself from work today past 3pm. As I sat on my own, reading my book, listening to my iPod, having a glass of white wine on a terrace by the sea, feeling all sorry for myself, he joined me to begin the weekend. (Food) shopping, walking, talking, resting and soon preparing for a French Beaujolais Nouveau party I (proudly) managed to get us into with no invitations. Shame on me if I hadn’t… A great opportunity to meet most of the expat companies head management, the local community, have some French cheese and wine and put my  social activity to use. My first party night out… And of course, I have my first headache in two weeks… Even if I catch Malaria I will drag myself out there tonight and party Bata-style !


3 Responses to “Market day in Africa”

  1. ima November 20, 2010 at 10:07 AM #

    Good girl, industrious as an ant, gathering food for winter days! Why not make some preserves ?
    What if the EG Cocktail Day becomes a national day grâce à toi? Leave a mark!
    Yesterday we bought a good Beaujolais, going to drink to night. Sinon Pusi.

    • Travel Personal November 20, 2010 at 10:10 AM #

      I’m going to aim for a mojito today. If that can happen, I am decreating the day myself 😉

  2. ima November 20, 2010 at 10:11 AM #

    And do as I told you…raise a few chicken in the back-yard. Guaranteed fresh eggs every day. Adina and me had some oysters here, great oysters, but after a few hours, while waiting for food in the Sud-Ouest à côté, she suddenly let her oysters go free again. Pusi again.

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