One day you may find yourself in Bamako, the capital of Mali. I know – crazy, right? But never say never! And if you ever want to see Timbuktu (which I suggest you do), you will have to go through Bamako. Besides, as I learned the hard way, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GONNA END UP! And, as some of you may be aware by now, one of my (many) mottos is: Poor Planning Pisses Me Off.
So, After the jump I present you with a list of fun filled, fabulously odd things to do in Bamako that may just change your life:
1. The Death Market – which I have covered before – Found in the middle of Bamako is the Witch Doctor Market… and is clearly the reason Mali has no wild animals left. “But Paula – why the hell do I want to go there?” you may ask, to which I say – BECAUSE IT’S FRICKING COOL and, you may just be able to save a Penny the Hedgehog of your own and feel like a full on rockstar for at least a day.
2. The Musicians Market: Located near the Death Market, you can buy any instrument hand made here. Fun Fact: Mali’s music is the birthplace of the blues. 90 percent of America’s slaves came via the Salt Road, which runs through Mali, and when you hear Tuareg, Bobo, Fulani, Bambara or Dogon music, it’s like listening to BB King. And Malians take their music very seriously. Drummers have callouses an inch thick on the palms of their hands, guitarists are treated like heroes and singers are legendary. Behold:
3. The Recycling Market: Across town is a magical place where a car, a truck, a shipping container or aluminum cans can be broken down within minutes and made into… anything. It’s beyond fascinating… and My Aunt Deedee is obsessed with her angels made of cans.
4. The Appaloosa: Deep in the heart of Bamako is a cowboy bar. Yeehaw! The waiters wear red velvet cowboy outfits and the working girls are scantily clad cowgirls. It is apparently a favorite for ex-pats and Russian hookers. Whew knew [Ed note: What did those girls wrong in a past life to end up as Russian hookers in Bamako? That’s like the lost luggage for working girls].
5. Hill G14: This is the largest hill in Bamako (and also the place where I set Penny free) – it has a crazy Gym on the top of it where kids go to work out and play as well as a huge map of Mali, and the army barracks. You get the best view of the city from here.
6. The Clubs: on any given night in Bamako, you can go to a club and hear some of the best music EVER… and the dancing is to die for. check it out: