Solom, or velvet tamarind

After picking up my table cloths, we took a boat to Gorée Island. Angèle and Momar were eating these fruits called solom in Wolof, Dialiam guineense, which have a sweet-sour furry covering over a central nut. For the tour of the island we had a moderately awful guide who, in the Slave House, repeated what the big tour guide he tagged along with had already said, and it was hard to have much confidence in it. Still, some of the African-American women in the group, Monica for example, found the visit to the slae house very moving. I was corrupted by what I had read in the Lonely Planet Guide the night before, that it was probably just a regular Dutch merchant’s house, who no doubt owned slaves, but not a major transport center. The door onto the sea was striking, but quite narrow, and it does seem a bit odd that boats would try to more directly outside each house that way, rather than in a harbour. On the way home everybody stopped at the ferry terminal gift shop, which thoroughly pissed off Momar, and I didn’t get my market tour. Oh well. Still, that night I heard the news about the MSP grant, and had lovely dinner of grilled Thiof with Karen King and Tasha Innis’s friend Atiya, at a restaurant down by the beach.

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