Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You know you're in West Africa When...... (ongoing list)

1.) you have a favorite plastic bucket and favorite plastic cup. 
2.) you're chewing banana bubblegum.
3.) you're host family keeps you up all night watching Bollywood movies turned up full blast (this only happens if it is a night with electricity ie: one in 4)
4.) All prices are gauged in reference to how much 1 coke costs.  ie:  I could get 3 cokes for that much
5.) you dream of ice water.
6.) 10year old girls can carry a bucket of water better than you.
7. ) laundry is put out to dry laying flat out across the street.
8.)  walls, especially walls with ledges, have rub marks from the goats that walk and rub along them.
9.) antenas are assembled with half their parts missing. (yeah, that looks close enough)
10.) you see an "Obama Salon de Coiffure" and "Obama Resturant"
11.) four people in the back seat of a taxi means there's room for at least one more.
12.) you play the 'beep' game to get people to call you back.
13.) guests devour a whole Xtra large jar of mayo in one sitting - putting it on their fried chicken of course !
14.) guys stand in rush hour traffic selling spray cans of cockroach zapper
15.) (in conakry) you watch a series of people over the course of 10min. get out of the elevator, confused, and walk down or up a floor using the steps - as if button pressing in the elevator is an aquired skill
16.) you can get a mayo sandwich, designer fake watches and sunglasses, shoes reglued, repaired and shined, prayer mat, all within half a city block
17.) 8yr olds play football (soccer) in the grass in the round-about during heavy rush hour traffic; and teenagers run and do their training in the slim center median between all the irratic comings and goings of traffic
18.)   you say something in the affirmative and then say "insha'allah" because you know its not going to happen.
19.) you accept military rushing thru town in their fancy trucks, at high speeds, all hours of the day, shooing cars and people aside as if they're conductors in a video game.
20.)  you are the michellen critique of street food vendors
21.)  you sweat maggi
22.)  you go swimming with local friends and realize you're the only one that knows how
23.) you vie for territory in the compound with the chickens
24.)  you know how to say 'white person' in more than one local language: 'fote', 'anasara', 'toubab' ecc
25.) When you take of your sandals, you have a dirt outline of your sandals and when you wash that away 
        you have a sandal tan (maybe even 2 if you have more than one pair of sandals! ).
People don’t hesitate to write up phone numbers and calculations on their homes or on buildings so 
         they can remember them for later
Being on time means being 30minutes late
You see a guy walking a monkey like its his dog.
Large groups of kids play around the one light within miles that works at night
You can have a business charging phones
Kids never get tired of having their picture taken, and then go nuts when you show it to them like
         they’re their own celebrity
You mistake the French word ‘grossess’ for being fat, and later learn that it means getting bigger in
         pregnancy ( you were wondering why your host family said their 3yr old nephew needed to stay with
          them because his mom was getting really fat - well i just went along with it,  haha)
The electricity comes on and the whole village sighs in response. 
You go to the market with a plastic container because you don’t want the peanut butter lady to scoop
        out your spoonfuls of PB into a plastic bag.  (same with the tomato paste lady…. And the oil lady……
        plastic bags full of oil are just an accident waiting to happen)
You learn that oranges are not eaten but ‘sucked’
When in doubt, put more official looking ink stamps on it.
People don’t realize that white people can get tan
Sometimes all you can do is sprawl out and hope a breeze passes by

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