Monday, 27 April 2009
Mauritanian hip hop & other stories...
The man with the chewing stick was running a CD shop in the Cinquieme area of Nouakchott where we were listening to a selection of Mauritanian hip hop - it does exist! - We went to the Salamaleikum Hip Hop festival in Nouakchott where I revelled in being one of the only 2 non-African(& probably oldest) people in the crowd & figured as I'd been there I ought to 'buy the t-shirt' too!(I figured I wouldn't bump into anyone else in London with one - I'm very vain...)
Whilst browsing the shelves I noticed a huge amount of Phil Collins, some Westlife & bafflingly 'The Best of Smokie'! (Google them, I can't be arsed to explain)
In another place we visited we asked the seller for Mauritanian music & after a lengthy wait while he ignored us & played with his mobile phone for a while he eventually proffered an R. Kelly cd.
This latter place exhibits a prime example of a what I call the 'Mauritanian inverse proportional enthusiasm rule'
wherein, the more you desire something the more slowly & surly the service you receive.
Inversely; if one passes a crappy souvenir shop of which one has no desire whatsoever to buy anything, then the vendor will always leap up & follow you for a length of time trying to persuade you to buy something 'mon ami! Bon prix!'
As an appendix most Mauritanian street sellers were relatively pleasant & not irritating & borderline aggressive (see 'Dakar' & 'following you for almost half an hour until you end up shouting obscenities')