Continental Drift

July 30, 2010

Interior Decoration

Filed under: Uncategorized — unaleona @ 6:26 pm

Lately, I’ve been on a kick to make my room a more welcoming place.  I mean, sure, it will always be bright blue cement brick with strange spots, some cobwebs and a slight tilt to the floor. My suitcases will always have to be piled up in the corner somewhere, the huge bucket of toiletries that I brought from the states because they cost three times as much here will never really camouflage well and I’m never exactly going to have a shoe rack or whatever other signs of civilization.

But. I thought, for a start, I could get a canarie (water jug).  They are large, ceramic urns that not only are hand-made and look pretty: they also keep water magically cold when it is inside.  I had sort of been coveting one for a while, but then one day Beiny slipped while getting water for me from the public tap, and my bucket cracked.  Perfect excuse.

I told Mama I wanted to get a canarie.  A nice small one just to keep enough water for me to drink.  We could get it at the market one day when she was doing her morning shopping.  But of course, it wasn’t that simple.  “Why are you going to get a canarie now? You’re about to leave, (in four months or so), you won’t even use it at all, you should have bought it before the hot season. I’ll just take it when you leave.”  “Okay, but I’m just buying  a small one.  So you can have your big one and my small one.” “No, you should buy a big one, that way I can have a nice new big one, mine is cracked.”
I said no.

Of course, I caved and told her to pick one she liked, I’d use it till I leave and then she could take it.  So instead of my nice, understated, traditional pottery, I now have this object in my room: 

Oh well.  Once I wash it out I suppose the water chilling capacity will outweigh the giant HEUREUX MENAGE (happy home). At least I dissuaded Mama from the one that said I LOVE YOU.

But then, the quest got even better.  One day, Erica and I went to the grand marche to buy fabric and order a leather bag from my neighbor who works at the artisanat.  We never made it to the fabric and my neighbor wasn’t there, but instead we found…posters.  Not just any posters.  First, there was The Man Obama.

I haven’t managed to put this up on the wall yet, due to the amazing de-sticking powers of Malian house paint, but bear with me.  On closer examination you find such gems as:

This one:

An especially this one, look very closely:

This poster led to a really bizarre education session in which Mama asked me if Obama was George Bush Senior’s son and Beiny asked me what country America was fighting a war in.

But after we exhausted the selection of shiny, fancy posters (including such gems as Bad Boy Haircuts, Avril Lavigne, Rap Starzz, and many iterations of that one of the crying girl holding the koran outside Mecca, we discovered the Nigerian posters.  Printed on large sheets of plain paper, costing about 50 cents, these were the true treasure trove. 100 African martial arts moves, 50 pictures of shirtless women on motorcycles, and a strange fascination with animals and death.  I had to get these two, despite (because of?) how inappropriate they are.

If that isn’t enough for you, what about this awesome sequence at the bottom:

And then last but not least, there is:

Evidently the troubles of the world involve Africans speaking pidgin english getting attacked by wild beasts.

And then of course, they’ve thrown the bible in there to explain things. 

Basically, I’m not sure if these posters have convinced me I must go to Nigeria, or I really want to make sure I stay away.  Either way, I’m thinking they’ll spice up my life if I ever figure out a way to make them stay up.

If I ever once succeed at making something happen in Mali in the way I envisioned it, I think I’ll just have to leave right then to go home to America.

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1 Comment »

  1. ok girl. now you’ve really entered uncharted waters!

    Comment by Paul — July 31, 2010 @ 4:50 pm | Reply


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