As the list on our refrigerator grew and grew of household necessities, Yvonne suggested we go to the Marche Sandaga to pick up the items. Casino, the local ex-pat supermarket, has limited choices for a very high price. I was excited to venture out with Yvonne into the market where the locals do all of their shopping.
The description in the Dakar Women's Group Guidebook of Marche Sandaga says:
Inside and overflowing into the streets, vendors sell anything and everything. Sellers of food, clothes, music, fabric, kitchen supplies, cosmetics, etc. create a lively atmosphere for shoppers. A good place to buy African fabrics, both hand dyed and machine printed. Bargain hard! You should keep a tight grip on your purse to discourage pickpockets. There are many young men who will want to 'help' you find what you are looking for. They will usually call you 'Madame Dakar' and while they usually mean no harm and are just looking for a tip, they can be quite overwhelming. Best to do a pushing back motion and say 'Non, Merci' if you want to be left alone.
Well, I must say that this description is perfect. I stayed as close to Yvonne as possible for fear that I would lose her. Yvonne glided through the streets as she knew the Sandaga like the back of her hand. I watched her bargain... speaking in Wolof, Jola, French, and then translating it all to me in English.
Needless to say, we got everything we needed for a great price. We got tupperware, a kitchen trash can, fabric, laundry baskets, etc. And I got to experience the Sandaga with Yvonne.
I don't think I will ever go without her.