Unknown visitors

I’m alone at home, and suddenly someone knocked on the door. I assumed it would be my host coming home, so I opened. To my surprise, outside was two girls. Together just as big as the doorway but not at all as big as usual Mauritanian women. I said “Hello. Bonjour.” They said “Bonjour!” and explained they live around the corner.

I assumed they were new neighbours moving in, and as they stepped inside the apartment I invited them to the living room. I asked if they wanted some tea, and they declined. One of the girls reached me a gift, “gateaux, pour vouz” she said (“a gift, for you”). She was 23 years old, just like me, the other one 24. It was a little glass box with something that would make the room smell very very good and scare away all the mosquitoes.

We tried to talk for a few minutes, me in very poor French and them in very poor English. It turned out they did not just move in, they just came for a visit. Then they said “thank you very much” and left after saying I am “tres jolie, tres jolie” and the apartment is very very nice. “Thank you” I said and waved goodbye.

Is that the way here? Just show up at strangers, sit down and talk? I wish we did that in Sweden, what a great way to meet new people. I will ask my host about it when she comes home later tonight. But I sent her a text saying we had visitors, she was very surprised. “Do you know them?” she replied. “No” I said. “They just showed up.”

Note that all this happened at half past nine at night.

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