Walking through Nouakchott

I walked through Nouakchott today, or a part of it at least, finding another market than the main one. It had a strong smell of fish, garbage and sweat. A car was loaded so heavy with fish, furniture and other big stuff the rear part almost stood on the chassi, but the driver started the engine and drove off anyway. Very slowly though, as a snail crawling on a stone a hot summer day.
There were roosters and hens tied to the ground by a string around their feet, donkeys with carriages either loaded with metal wires or cardboard, or standing still waiting. One of the donkeys I passed had three deep cuts in its face. It’s horrible how people treat the animals here. In Ouadane there were two children hitting a baby camel with a string and a stick, putting the string around its neck and pulling. The camel was crying, and yet no one did anything to stop them.

There was a traffic jam followed by an accident. A car hit another car and the car trying to squeeze in between the two hit the one and came to an abrupt stop, whereupon a fridge fell off its back as well as a man standing there holding on to the top. He nearly crushed his head against the other car but somehow managed in the end to land standing up somewhat straight.

There are traffic jams here all the time though. People squeezing past, one driver today wanted to get ahead of the car in front of him so as they both turned he charged. He went up on the left side of the car and tried to squeeze through in a place where there was only place for one car. Of course he failed and both cars had to stop because none of them could get through because of the other. Guess who blamed who?

On my way home the taxi driver changed the song as I entered the taxi, playing Scooter (!) and THEN, he turned on the bass! It was so cool and I couldn’t help singing and moving to the beat. How awesome isn’t that? Usually the music is all Mauritanian or Senegalese, or as this morning: Spanish.


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