05 June 2016

I Found Donuts in the Market

I can't make this stuff up!
I've been on a mission.

A fabric finding mission.

Last year I was in Côte d'Ivoire for the biennial congress of the PanAfrican BurnSociety.  Something I didn't know until moving to Niger is that Abidjan (Ivory Coast's capital city) is considered to be the Milan of West Africa.  We're talking haute couture here people!  At least in terms of wax prints.

Being that we were in the fashion capital of our little corner of the world, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to scope out the latest fabrics.  As I settled on a beautiful cobalt with a barely-there white dotted pattern, I noticed a print that was too fabulous for words: babies in-utero juxtaposed with waiting-to-nurse breasts.

Instead of buying it, I simply snapped a pic on my phone, uploaded it to instagram and texted it to an OB friend of mine . . . who responded later that night asking if I would buy her some.  But we were flying out the next day and didn't have a chance to go back and get it for her.

Fast forward to last month and another friend of mine messaged me to say that she had found that fabric and was buying it as a wedding shower gift for another Westerner.

At last!  A chance to get my favorite OB some very suitable fabric.

Off we went to the market where my friend found the fabric in Niamey . . . on foot, in the noon-day sun, in the midst of Hot Season, I might add, because Maiguida loves me more than he loves himself.

I had underestimated how far we were actually living from said market, and then miscalculated where exactly in the market we needed to go to find the fabric shop.  We were tired and weary and coming up short with every turn.

Finally I called for help . . . and then asked a friendly old tailor . . . and eventually we made our way to the wonderful fabric boutique, drenched in our own sweat.

We were greatly disappointed to discover that not only could we not find the fabric, but I couldn't access the data on my phone in order to look up my old instagram photo in order to show the vendor.

Unsuccessful, but not ready to give up.

The other day we tried again, this time at the biggest market in the city.  Having planned ahead a little better, I took a screenshot of my instragram post and off we went passing my phone from fabric booth to fabric booth.

"I've never seen this one," the first guy said.

"I have none left," the next guy told us.

"You'll find it deeper in the market," another vendor informed me.

"I don't have it, but try Abdou over there, I think he does!"

And on and on it went.

New this season: donuts
"Come back in two days, that's when we get a shipment in" was the most helpful response we had.

So we went back, two days later.  But we're still not back in the groove of regular Nigerien shopping hours, and we stopped by just as everyone was leaving to pray.  It was too hot to hang around and wait.

Walking away, feeling a little heat-and-humidity induced grumpiness, I walked passed a woman wearing something I never imagined I'd see in Niger: DONUTS!

That's right, her outfit was covered with donuts!  And not just boring old traditional glazed donuts, we're talking the Manager's Special . . . icing and sprinkles (that's hundreds-and-thousands for you non-American readers)!!

As I sneakily snapped a photo, I chuckled to myself and decided I should reward you all with a little visual prize of your own . . . my latest excuse for not being discrete with my camera phone: I need to show my husband before he will let me buy it; if he likes it, I'll be back.

Handbags in Blue
Handbags in Yellow

Red Pumps
Purple Pumps

Pie Chart or Wheel of Brie, you decide
Mr. PotatoHead Eyeballs
Christmas Holly
Parasols in Yellow or Mint

Fuchsia Fall Foliage
Old Fashioned Sewing Machines

Numbers/Letters and Keys

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