Lessons from Gambia – II

 She must be close to seventy years of age, while he cannot be twenty years old.

With his left arm firmly around her waist, the right hand oscillating to expressing his swagger and his dreads gently rising and falling in sync with his gait, they were taking an evening stroll around the Senegambia neighborhood, and doing it in style.

 I asked Ousman my name sake (Story for another day), the dutiful hotel security personnel what was his impression of the great love that binds the two together. “Thats no love” he said. “That is money love. He want her money, she want his young blood”.

I asked Ousman if she could be bothered that he does not love her. “No, not at all. It is a convenient relationship. Once he gets to her country, the whole thing ends. Its no love at all”. As we discussed this spectacle, at least four other spectacular couples went past. A few minutes later, another bus load of elderly foreign women arrived, all looking forward to a swell time on the smiling coast. Welcome to the world of Sex Tourism.

I asked Ousman if this was not a time bomb that will absolutely corrupt the citizens, especially the minors. He told me that Code of conducts and warnings are pasted at obvious places, that dealing with minors is a punishable offense. With the large revenue accruing from tourism, without closely monitoring the activities of these hyper-active visitors, it is quite easy to corrupt an entire generation. I doff my hat for the care taken to ensure this booming industry does not go awry.


Almost everyone have a standard identification issued by the ministry of Interior affairs. This probably accounts for the very low crime rate, the absence of tall fences and the protection of foreigners by these ever-smiling people. Ousman went ahead to tell me that the default action of the Law enforcement officers in his country, is to protect the foreigners at all time. I wondered how much passion they would put into protecting their own citizens!

Just as I made to ask Ousman another question, he motioned to me that it was time to do some more work. I was idle, on vacation and definitely not in his league. I thanked him for his time, appreciated his sense of duty, and sauntered back to the comfort of my room, soaking in every bit of Ousman’s lecture.

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