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The Koreans
By Gregg - 10 Aug, 1999

Page 3 of 3

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The following day Lee wanted to get together with us so we arranged to meet. Joo was with him and they had the camera—another working day. Lee wanted to film us at the cybercafe talking about our site and how we use the Internet while travelling. The four of us went out to Spider—Bamako's state-of-the-art cybercafe. They gave us our own room so we could shoot without disturbing others. Again Joo would ask questions in Korean with Ev and I responding in English. We showed off madnomad.com and talked in general terms about email, uses of the web and of the proliferation of cybercafes.

The next day Lee and Joo had plans to shoot in ýthe Bamako market. The market area is an extensive congestion of simple stalls overflowing with goods of all kinds. Most surprising to the western visitor is the fetish market where one finds a potpourri of animal parts for sale—piles of dried bat heads, monkey hands, snakeskins... Shooting photos is not typiclly welcomed. But ýLee would have special permission from the government as well as the accompaniment of a translator/guide well known and tied in with the locals. Ev and I could tag along if we wanted and bring our video camera. We'd often been frustrated with not being able to take pictures or shoot video and were thus looking forward to this opportunity.

It didn't quite work out that way. The session was rushed and much to Ev and my amusement, we were asked along mainly to be actors. Joo was not feeling well that day—lack of sleep likely from another late-night, long-distance phone call. As the camera rolled, we pretended to take interest in market items. Then we would haggle over price, Ev translating into French. It was not the fetish animal parts we were supposedly interested in but the more mundane crocodile-skin wallets.

This whole time Joo incongruously wore a full-size backpack for the camera's benefit. (As if backpack travellers carry their backpacks everywhere they go.) We worked up an appetite with all this shopping and afterwards Lee filmed us taking our lunch at a street-side stall much to the (friendly) chagrin of the cook.

After lunch, we said goodbye to the Koreans. The next day we were going north to Dogon country while Lee and Joo would take a side trip back to Kayes. They would follow us north two days later once they met up with the truck from Tanzania. We planned to rendez-vous in theý Dogon village of Nombori.

Thus it was that our madnomad project and we ourselves became fodder for someone else's travel project. Having become accustomed to being on the other other side of the fence, this was quite fun for us.

We never did see The Koreans again after Bamako. Perhaps the truck's arrival was delayed or perhaps they got caught up once again with video permission paperwork. I wonder where they are now—perhaps an email inquiry...



 



 

 
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The Koreans
  Time Travel
  Your Future in Shells
  Hurry up and wait!
  From Mundane to Wondrous


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