We often ate local food sold at little stalls in the street in our neighbourhood or just on the street: meat satés, rice dishes, 'beignets', salads, peanuts, ... Rice dishes with sauce can be spicy. Little meat 'satés' are delicious in my opinion, though watch out that they are properly grilled, because you know what they say about raw meat.
My favorite was a white yogurt-like dessert with little peaces of grain in it, it tastes so healthy and sweet. But I forgot its name! (I think it is a short word, something like 'so'.) If someone knows it, please fill me in! :-)
It 's quite an adventure walking around through the city, because it is very busy, with little stalls everywhere, not the best pavements in the centre, but it's the ideal way to get to know the local life.
Certainly don't forget the Marché National des Arts, where you can find plenty of beautiful souvenirs at a quite low price in general.
Success and enjoy!
There are no postmen in Mali, there are no addresses. If you want to receive mail, you need to have a PO BOX in a post office.
Addresses are all lie BP and a number or BP E- and a number. BP is for Boîte Postale or Postal Box and the "E" is for "étage" when you box is on the first floor of the post office.
Post is very slow, it takes more than one month from Bamako to Europe. They open all envelopes to foreign countries, more particularly Europe and USA to check if they cannot steal something. All my correspondants in Europe complain that the mail has been open. Last time, I sent some chocolates for the birth of my son, and envelopes had been open, chocolates stolen. Just the card was there but very dirty.
Schools are at their simplest expression. It is more or less mandatory however few people can read and write in Mali.
Even so called high educated managers or Ministers cannot right correctly.
I have received a letter from the Minister of Finance with 15 errors on one sheet. A disaster!!!
Fondest memory: I visited schools and I am always surprised of the warm welcome I received.
Visit the Artisana - the Artisan market. The gold and silver jewellery there is beautiful and relatively inexpensive. Look at the filigree work.
Fondest memory: Sitting up on the hill by the Presidents palace over looking Bamako - a lovely spot for a picnic.