February 09, 2004

I B Chillin

How do you like my hip title for this entry? It means 'I am laid back and relaxed', as in 'I be chilling'. You need to say it with a sort of reggae accent. If you're 'down with it', you'll know what I mean.
Anyway, I digress - The point is that I am having a nice time relaxing and using the tourist facilites that have sprung up to provide for the influx of package holidaymakers. However, The Touts of the Gambia, although fewer in number than The Touts of Senegal, are much more inventive and persistent than their colleagues across the border.
As I walked past the Fire Station today, a fireman who was stood outside stopped me to chat. Normally people in uniform are a good bet to talk to, because they are bored, and they already have a job, so are not usually tourist hustlers.
'I am a Fireman', he said.
'Very nice', I replied.
'This is the Fire Station'
'So I see, Do you have many fires?'
'Come, I'll show you around, there are 50 men inside'.
Now, it is just possible he was waiting for passing tourists, so he could show them his Fire Station because he has pride in his job. But I didn't give him the benefit of the doubt, and assumed he would ask for money at the end. Not being desparate to see the Fire Station (it looked pretty small from the outside), I declined his offer and continued.
The next guy that stopped me said, 'How can I get in contact with you, if we need to discuss important things?'.
I replied that I didn't think it was likely we would actually have important things to discuss. He then said, 'So, you don't want to take any diamonds home with you, then?'. I admit to being stumped for a second. I said 'No Thanks', and wandered off.
The other thing I noticed today on my travels, was that the British Embassy is on the beach, not in the town. So, in fact is the Cuban Embassy, The Embassy of Guinea, and the VSO head office. I found myself wondering what the Cuban Ambassador to The Gambia actually does?
My guess, is that there are lots of barbecues involved...

Posted by paul at February 9, 2004 04:23 PM


ah ha! we are in the pub in soho with susanne and just laughed at your blog. Where are you headed next then, travelling boy?
p.s. My phone rocks - l can comment from the pub!

Posted by: tom at February 9, 2004 08:23 PM

Yes, Tom is very pleased with his new phone. I saw him in action with it.

Yeah, I bet the VSO head office and the Cuban Ambassador and the British Ambassador all hang out together on the beach loads!

Posted by: susanne at February 10, 2004 07:43 AM