July 11, 2005

Truck, Marché and Bonobos

Photo of the truck
I wanted to post some pictures of the truck and other things but, for some reason, they're not coming up...Hum, I might switch from hello to the new picture blogging feature.

The Grand Marché: Monsters, Inc.

Last weekend, I went to the Grand Marché in the middle of the capital.

While people don't bug you at all here like they would in Senegal ("come on, you want to buy this, yes you do", "Ma'am you're so rich you ought to buy this", "what, you're not paying any attention to me? Are you racist?"), it is still a daunting experience nonetheless.

First off, the Marché is huge. It spans quite a few blocks. It sells anything and everything under the sun. If you're looking for a faucet, envelopes from the 60s, multicolored plastic flip-flops, vegetables, shoes, baskets, live fish swimming around in buckets, cut-up crocodiles (by section, would you like the tail or the snout?), machetes, grubs as big as your toes squirming around in hot and spicy mix, half-dead tortoises, second-hand undershirts, Chinese pink underwear, sugar by the scoop, manioc floor or plungers, go to Grand Marché.

Just be careful not to walk into the pile-high garbage heaps or step into the black stream in the middle of the alleyway. That shit might burn through your bones.


I also went to see the Bonobos! Bonobos are monkeys (yikes, someone correct me please) that can only be found Congo, in the area bounded by the Congo river.

Because the adults are heavily poached (they make a nice BBQ steak), the babies slowly die of starvation or are brought to sell in Kinshasa--which is highly illegal of course. The Bonobo Sanctuary recuperates these poor few ones and pairs them off with a Congolese woman. With them, they learn appropriate social behaviors, they learn how to eat alone and become independent. Which is no small feat considering these bonobos have seen their parents die and have all survived the gruelling journey from the center of the country to Kinshasa. The bonobos in the sanctuary are now so comfortable with the place, that they have started having babies themselves.

The bonobos are very sexual monkeys (*giggle*) and they tend to rub themselves and each other, visitors or no visitors. I would hate to have to enter the enclosure :) What a job.


Victoria said...

Is the truck pretty much yours for good now? That is so cool.

Beaver said...

hmm ! Bonobos ! Aren't those the socially sexual monkeys ?

Anonymous said...

"pairs them off with a Congolese woman" sounds awfully awkward... Especially when you know what bonobos are like!
Have you tried the grubs? Do you think you could send me some? Our cafeteria food is becoming boring...

Beaver said...

he he he ! Sounds cool that you could go to the marche without going through the Sandaga experience all over again :)

Do switch over to the pic feature ! It's AaaAMMmmMMAaAAaZzzZIng!

Sebas from montreal said...

I want to see that truck (and others pictures), like maybe you could pay me tickets for an IT helping class ;-)

or maybe it will be cheaper to move for hello...

And by the way, it the Marché in RDC is really that calm... like really A Bugging free market ?!? Wow, I really should go there...

well, we'll see... :-)

Always a pleasure to read you and have some infotaiment from you,
take care,

Anonymous said...

Hope to see the photos soon. (I thought there might be something wrong with my computer when they didn't appear.)
When you have a free moment send me a quick email. I either need to ask you something or apologize - not sure which just yet. Thx.

Steve in WI

Beaver said...

Seb, that was like sooooooooooo easy :) Wish I could go to RDC too, though :)

007 in Africa said...

hi Cbas!!! Longer time no see, what's up? I'm still waiting for an email... Naw, the market is not bug-free but I happenned to be walking around with a Congolese buddy :) So no one dared to bother me. I'll get you a ticket anytime. When can you come?

BTW Beaver, that's a very good picture of you!

Steve from Wisconsin, which is it? A favor or an apology? :)

Anonymous said...

Hey there, bonobos aren't monkeys, they belong to the ape family (as you do). Second, they are the most peaceful of all the apes, and have exchanged violence with sex ("make love, not war"). Sounds good to me.

Let's go for the grubs. Better than bonobo steaks anytime.


Anonymous said...

In reply to your reply...

(I see you're determined to make me publish my comment for all to see. Be that way.)
Some time back I posted a comment with a question in it and enclosed my email address. If you sent me an email then you got caught in my spam filter. If you didn't send me an email - then I apologize for the inquiry but I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. (This has bothered me ever since I found out your name wasn't really '007'!)

Steve in WI

Beaver said...

Thanks 007 ! It was taken on that Cool Graoul night you passed on after Bill's party, and the B&W shirt is actually Andrea's !

Sweet memories....

It was about time I put a more recent pic up there.... the other one is like, from 10 years ago !

Anonymous said...

We really love your blog, i haven't seen you keeping the posts in in some time now. Is everything ok. You can reach me here = web traffic@simply pet supplies.com. Thanks Again Rob Dog Beds, Dog Kennels ( Dog Supplies & Pet Directory Pet Products, Dog Training Supplies) Send Traffic Now