Sierra Leone….dare to dream „And I, oh I will always love yoooouu uuuuuuuuuuu uaaaaaaaaaaaa….“ And a quote from a film flashes through my mind: „Do you think, that love is immortal?“ „No, but this song is“ (Hedwig an the Angry Inch).
And I must agree, as the whole back of a poda poda, Sierra Leonien bus is singing the chrous along with Whitney. As we are bumping on the road, direction downtown. It´s our first week here, so I am spending the time sweating (at first and unfortunately always), finding my way around the town and getting used to the atmosphere, the people and everything. Oh and the food, as you can imagine, ehm the change is …well big :).
Today´s mission is quite simple: Exchange money, see legendary historical steps (at least according to the guide book) and for me, there is one more task of the day: get a special photo. As the St. Valentine is approaching, even in the streets of the 7th poorst country of the world people are selling all sorts of this reddish, pinkish fluffy or glittery stuff, covered with hearts and signs „I love you.“
I find it quite contrasting with the everyday life on the street, where most of theese things is just displayed on the floor – do I have to say that totally dusty and full of rubbish?, or sold from a bowl on a head of a teenage girl. But love is love. ..I suppose. And apparently today is the day to express it.
It isa midday, so the streets of Freetown are red hot and I feel like melting at any time. The heat only empathises all the weird smells from the market, not always pleasant, but what can you expect from a dry fish, right?
But finally I spot her. „Victim of my camera.“ After an inspection of what´s on offer I pick a Valentine card (with one spelling mistake), and pay the selling lady (ehm, excuse my English, but shopassistant just doesn´t feel like the appropriate word to describe) 2000 Leones, which is about 35p.
Missis Love-seller keeps on offering more and more stuff, but please, what will I do with this ugly wish, that is playing „Elizabeth“ (which btw. Was the school bell at the lycée, where I used to go for 8 years, so no thank you, really don´t need to hear this song again.)
But my future model (not knowing it yet) seems a little disturbed by the fact that the wealthy white girl (every white person is wealthy, right?) doesn´t want to spend more in her shop. I have a „save the situation” idea: „I will come again, but without my boyfriend, it is a surprise“, I whisper to her ear, which brings a big smile and a understanding nod. And the lovely lady then happily poses for my photo. So there you go, my dear readers: Happy Valentine from Sierra Leone 🙂