What does he do?

This guy intrigues me. Since I’ve been in Mauritania, and certainly here in Nouakchott, I’ve seen the beggars congregate around traffic lights. Why, I’ve no idea as nobody ever stops for them, but gather there they do.


If a car is foolish enough to stop near them, a homogenous blob of them arrive in a millisecond, tapping on the windscreen and the side window, asking for money. This fella though is a bit different. Since I’ve been here I drive past him at least twice a day, every day. In all that time (over a year now) he’s always been sat at the same post. He never gets up to hassle the traffic, he just sits there. I’ve gone past at 2 am and 2 pm and he’s always there, sat on the concrete block.

Today, as my interest had been well and truly piqued, I stopped to talk to him.

FAIL. He only speaks Wolof, I only manage to say hello and goodbye in the local language, normally my efforts in French and Arabic get me by. I persisted though, as, having never seen him move, I was trying to find out a bit more about him.

With hands and facial gestures, I tried my best to communicate, and he did seem fairly keen to reciprocate, but it was a futile gesture.

Before getting back into my car, I took out a couple of local banknotes and offered them to him. He gave me a look of absolute disgust, shook his head and turned away from me.

So, I’ve managed to annoy him, but I’m still no wiser as to what he does, how he lives, where he sleeps or even if he sleeps?

I shall investigate further.



About bobleponge216

Elderly rotund toothless male seeks wilderness to travel to.
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4 Responses to What does he do?

  1. Either your offer was an insult yo him, or he is on some kind of mission. Traffic census? Checking to see no-one jumps the lights? Or something more nefarious, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nikki says:

    What curious behavior. I’ll be interested to hear what you find out about this gentleman.
    Unfortunately, here in Oregon, it is common for beggars to be at most major intersections, holding their placards explaining their various circumstances or needs. I would suppose that the psychology hinges on long enough waits that motorists’ guilt genes can kick in and produce results before the green light allows them to escape. Personally, the prevalence of supplicants tends to dilute the compassion one might normally feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I shall let you know if i get to the bottom of it.
      Although I’m a fairly compassionate man I won’t give money here, or anywhere, to beggars. You give to one here and peace will never be yours again.
      We were in Prague last year, and on Charles Bridge I saw some of the most fantastic street art I’ve ever seen, some violinists, a painter and a juggler, incredible all three different groups, and I gave all of them some money for their performance. Just next to the violinists was a man, suppliant, with a cap in his outstretched hands. Not doing anything, not asking for anything, no sign, nothing, just on bended knee with his cap out. He received nothing.


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