“Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses
Monday, June 14, 2010
June 2, 2010
The embassy appointment went as it had been described to me: Yusupha is inadmissible and we have to get the grounds of inadmissibility waived. It was all expectedly byzantine and, dare I say, Kafkaesque. So since Kafka covered that topic far better than I could, I will describe Dakar--decidedly not Kafkaesque though it is many others things and much more.
My favorite part is walking around off the main thoroughfares. They are so intense, all those hard-eyed drivers who scoff at pedestrians in those multitudes of yellow-and-black taxis, the sides of which are a patina of dents and scrapes. Traffic is a free-for-all in which pedestrians do not have a right of way, even in a cross-walk, of which there are some. There are no lane lines and so street lights or stop signs. The main streets are full of taxis, private cars, buses, the colorful open vans run by the muslim brotherhoods, horse drawn carts, man-drawn carts, motorcycles, a few bicycles, and even, occasionally, a cluster of in-line skaters. Crossing the streets calls for bravery and attention. I personally clutch Yusupha's elbow and try not to look.