23 November 2011

Black Wednesday

Tomorrow is my most favorite American holiday, Thanksgiving.  I love it because we eat stuffing and apple pie . . . oh, and because we get to be thankful . . . maybe I should have put that part first.

And the day after tomorrow, when everyone is eating leftover stuffing and apple pie, is Black Friday.  They call it 'Black Friday' because so many people start shopping for Christmas and the stores have BIG sales and . . . well, I don't really care, because I never shop on BlackFriday.  My STA friend Cool-J, however, is a BIG BlackFriday shopper. 

But we live in Galmi, Where-There-Is-No-BlackFriday and Where-There-Is-No-WalMart.  So, we improvise . . . today is BlackWednesday.

I'm not going to lie, I've never been so excited to face the crowds and shop-till-I-drop . . . granted the crowds we faced included sheep transported on motorcycles and I was dropped from the heat of the sun and slight dehydration.  But, hey, it's all part of the BlackWednesday experience.

With MyMomma in toe and our Swiss friend (who comes from another mysterious part of the Where-There-Is-No-BlackFriday world), Cool-J and I lead the charge to the middle of the village and hit the market.

As we weaved our way through the aisles of stalls piled high with flip flops or stacked with raw meat we came to a slight clearing where a man was selling rock salt, dried okra, and . . . wait . . . what's that??  LOCUST!

Now, Cool-J and I have been making jokes back and forth about eating grasshoppers, and last week, she left a little back of roasted crickets on my doorstep.  We haven't yet gotten around to trying them out.

We saw the big pile of dried locusts and stopped dead in our tracks.  I smiled at the vendor and pointed to the pile 'Wunin abinchi ko?' (Is that food?).  His smile answered for him: Of course dummy, why else would I be selling dried locust??  I blinked back at him, 'Ama, akwai bubba!' (But, there is big!)  He laughed.  

We asked the price.  He asked if we wanted one bowl or two.  We tried to explain that we just wanted three, one for each us . . . NOT a whole bowlful.  

At this point we had drawn quite the crowd.

The vendor showed us how to pull off the wings and legs.  I informed him that he had left the head intact.  He nodded.  I said 'Ama, akwai idu!' (But, there are eyes!)  The crowd laughed.  

We snapped a few photos, and then each took a bite.

It was crispy at first . . . but then as my teeth and tongue reached the gritty inside, it seemed as if I was chewing on tree bark. 

I looked down at the remains of the body.  It was gross.

Suddenly it hit me that I was chomping a great big BUG.  

I wanted to vomit.  

But I swallowed instead.  Figured we already had drawn enough attention to ourselves.

I couldn't take a second bite.  So, being the kind, generous, thoughtful daughter that I am, I gave the rest to MyMomma . . . considering I had saved the best part for her.  Hey, I hear in some places locust eyeballs are a delicacy . . . and I left them BOTH for her!

The rest of our BlackWednesday adventure wasn't nearly as exciting as the start . . . except for when I bought an Obama holigrammed belt buckle for my brother for Christmas. 

America, you can keep your Death-By-Shopping BlackFriday . . . cause this is how we do it, every Wednesday, Galmi style. 


Linda Thomas said...

I always enjoy your stories! 


Amanda at Home said...

Thats great! When we arrived in Niamey ten years ago, Jim Knowilton sat there at his desk talking to us with a big jar of locusts on his lap. He munched them as if they were potato chips. He was of course doing it on purpose knowing our reaction. We also ran the Sahel youth group for a year and we had a competition night where the Wiggett girls topped the lot with eating grasshoppers!

Seth Montgomery said...

you must have eaten an unseasoned locust. Depending on what sauce it was cooked in, some of them can be quite edible... the plain roasted ones taste like dust wafers.

Seth Montgomery said...

sounds like something that Rachel and Hannah would do.

Deb. said...

Yup! 'Dust wafers' that about sums it up.