Shillings in Senegal

Cast of characters:

  • Female Senegalese shopkeeper
  • Me

Historical context:

  • Constantly dreaming of Africa these days.  I’ve never been to Senegal or Burkina Faso… or Burundi.  Though I’ve been close to Burundi.
  • I have a relatively good sense of African geography.
  • I used Shillings in Austria in 1999.  Maybe elsewhere, too?  Britain?
  • Otherwise, no real context.

Saturday night’s dream:

I was in the middle of nowhere in Africa.  Geographically speaking, I was in Burkina Faso in western Africa.  However, in my dream, I was in “Senegal.”  I was out in the middle of the desert, and I wandered into a free-standing store made of stucco.  It was painted on the outside in bright aqua.  The inside was painted a dull light blue, and it was brightly lit in fluorescent lighting.  The woman standing at the counter was in her 50s or 60s and was wearing a red kerchief on her head.  She was wearing a light blue dress with cream-colored ruffles around the scoop neckline.  I don’t remember what I wanted to buy, but I put it on the counter to pay and offered her some Senegalese money.  She said that that wouldn’t work and that she needed Shillings from Burkina Faso.  But in my dream, “Burkina Faso” was actually Burundi, geographically speaking.  I begged her to take my Senegalese money, and she kept telling me she could only accept Shillings from Burkina Faso.  I was stuck; I wanted and needed my goods, but couldn’t pay for them.  I had to get going, but there was nothing I could do.  The woman was friendly, but she couldn’t help me.


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