Conversation I had with my seamstress last night:
“I was wondering if you could make me a skirt and top out of this.”
“Sure. What do you want?”
Our Heroine gestures. “I want shoulders like this.” She points. “I want a skirt like hers.”
“Okay, let’s take your measurements.” She pulls out a book where my measurements are already listed.
“Aren’t those my measurements?”
“Those are for a boomba [traditional Beninese costume].”
The seamstress measures my chest. She leans over and looks at my previous measurements, puzzled. Then she measures my waist. Yep. Still puzzled. “Have you been eating?”
She narrows her eyes. “You haven’t been eating right. You’ve gotten much smaller!”
“Well yeah, a little”
“What do you eat every day?”
“Well, it depends. Salad. Sandwiches. Spaghetti. Whatever I feel like.”
“You need to eat more pate [traditional carb filled and nutritionally empty Beninese fare]. You are clearly not taking care of yourself in this country.”
“Oh, it’s the heat, and I’ve been sick. I eat a lot!”
“Not enough! The next time you come for a new dress, you’d better be fatter.”
I fuckin’ love this country.