Toobab

I think the heat is getting to me, getting inside me, drying my mind. I could have sworn today that there was a bird in my back yard squawking at me “Toobab! Toobab! Toobab!”

On any given day in the Gambia this will be shouted at me by a multitude of people – mainly children but some rude adults as well. Toobab means stranger but in all practicalities it means white person. The origins of the word are in cololnial times and it derives from when people would shout at the British “Two bob” in the hope of getting some money.

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