Thursday, December 08, 2011

Memories of the Marrakesh Express
A charming young Nigerian woman came to visit me yesterday. She has been following this journal for over a year she told me. It always thrills and amazes me that -to me- totally unknown people should wish to follow my strange life in this far away place. She had a particular reason for being interested in Djenné and in my little hotel though: she was an architecture student at the Sorbonne, and she specialized in traditional building materials. She was interested in seeing the new rooms: the Diawando and the Minianka. She also wanted to see Maobi’s grave and my new horse. He is no longer The Horse With No Name, he has finally been named ‘Petit Bandit’. There was a small detail about the young Nigerian lady which reminded me of a train journey that Keita and I made last spring while on holiday in Morocco...
We were travelling in a first class compartment between Marrakesh and Meknes. Our travel companions were two young people who didn’t know each other: a student at a Military Academy and a pretty young girl in tight jeans and Hijab. Keita started chatting to them both. He found out that neither of them was married so he was soon matchmaking to the embarrassment of them both. The journey went quickly with lots of laughter. Afterwards I asked Keita if he didn’t think the girl had been very pretty. ‘Oh, she was OK’ said Keita rather unenthusiastically. ‘But I cannot understand how her parents can allow her to wear that tooth jewellery!’

The girl on the train and the Nigerian woman who visited me yesterday had one thing in common: they both wore a tooth brace… this is something that has never been seen in Mali.


Blogger Gilliane said...

"TOOTH JEWELRY" What a fab observation :)))
Bravo Keita !

6:01 PM  

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