City vs. Country

Karl Marx once commented on “the idiocy of rural life”, and whether one agrees with him or not, it must be acknowledged that the prejudice of the city folk for their country brethren is worldwide. I lived in Sotouboua, which at the time had a population of about 3,000, no electricity, no running water, and a grand total of two very small “Nagos” stores. I'll never forget how a tiny nearby village of Tabondé came up in a conversation between two nine year old kids on my back porch one day. Somehow, they had managed to get ahold of some kind of orange soda, and were drinking it lustily from bottles. One managed to wind up with some of it dripping down his chin and onto his chest. The other one looked at him and said with disgust “Tu bois comme un payson de Tabondé!”

It's a remark I've never forgotten.... and used a few times myself. In fact, my kids have picked it up.... “Look at Hannah!” my five year old boy will yell, pointing to his three year old sister. “She's eating like a peasant from Tabondé!”

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