Tuesday, May 27, 2008

sunday part II. the disco

so after the dive i met up with the rest of the crew who just flew in from maputo. we're having lunch, chit chatting, i'm getting introduced to all the people i've been emailing the past year. the beach starts filling up with people.
the past few days i had started to think that this town is rather boring and dead, but here comes sunday! thousands of people are now walking, swimming, hanging out. my frisbee is flying up from the crowd. the guy i gave the frisbee too, dmitri, he's like frisbee guy now. he's perfected the throw the disc really hard at an angle so it comes right back to you thing. he throws solo, and he catches it between his legs and stuff. rad.
no one i'm sitting with seems to care or notice the gargantuan beach party forming. i'm itching to go out and take some pictures, walk around, whatever. they want to have a debriefing about the course. so i go back to my hotel room across the street to get some printouts and get caught in this huge parade. there are horses, motorbikes, the indigenous people with painted faces, police cars, trucks with dudes playing the drums in the back. it's insane, i have to frogger across this 2 lane mess to get to the hotel and i get caught up in this mob. i'm fighting my way through, getting grabbed into dancing circles, people waving in my face, they're like, can't you see this is a party? where are you going? and what is this white girl doing here?
i finally make it back to the lunch spot and no one seems to have noticed i've been gone for 30 minutes. i tell them there's a friggin parade and they're all oh, right, pemba is about to win an award for what i understood in their portuguese was third deepest bay in the world. i'm thinking, that's odd, who cares about being the third deepest bay in the world? so i'm asking everyone about the depth, like, 70 meters isn't that deep. i'm sure there's somewhere in russia that's way deeper. and all during the meeting i'm trying to figure it out, and everyone is all why are you so obsessed with the depth of pemba bay?
finally we end our meeting and we go check out this big stage with live music and it's a celebration that unseco has announced that pemba is the third most LARGEST bay in the world, within a category of most beautiful bays in the world. oooooh, now i get it, that makes sense. people are very psyched about this. this is a most incredible party. but you know, i went to bahia honda, in the florida keys, the supposed 2nd most beautiful beach in the world and it wasn't all that. but hey, i'm not going to bust anyone's bubble here.

so me and a bunch of my collegas decide to walk over to another beach bar and grab a seat. i vote for the small chairs close to the action. they are rocking chairs. rocking chairs in the sand? they prove to be a terrible idea. i rock forwards onto my face and sergio falls sideways like he's a drunk. so we decide to get some beer. hey, it's sunday 4pm. there's a party on the beach! pemba is the third largest bay in the world!
so we order these huge beers (2m, the company owned by the president, or, "doshem") and heckle the passers by, take pictures of kids, decide we should visit the first and second largest bays in the world, wherever they are and determine if it's true. this guy comes over to sell this delicate wooden scupture of a pelican with long wings that balances on a stand. we are amazed by the leverage action on the thing. i buy one for my dad, to add to his collection of cool balancing toys on his kitchen counter. i'm like, dude, do you have a phD in physics or something? and he answers sadly no, lowering his eyes, i only recently got my masters in engineering. boy do i feel like a jerk.

we finish our beer and decide to have a change of environment. this one guy says he knows a restaurant just down the beach, which is also a discoteque sometimes. it's 5pm on a sunday, we figure it's probably pretty chill, so we go.
it turns out to be like that saturday night live skit with the guys who dance like robots to techno. saturday night at the roxbury? there's bone vibrating tribal techno blasting and the place is packed with all the girls that i've noticed are missing from the beach party. the DJ is up in a booth wearing an "i'm hot" t shirt. the dance floor is jammed with every age class between 6 and 55 and their halter tops barely qualify as clothing. an 8 year old boy asks me to dance and proceeds to grind on my leg. this is akward. and it's 5:30 pm on a sunday. we get some more beer and hang out by the blacklight. next thing i know i'm dancing in this circle with a breakdancer in the middle. it feels like the last time i was at the queen night club in paris, like when people were doing coke everywhere and there were guys dancing in cages and bubbles and fake snow kind of thing. this old lady in a unitard comes over and grabs my waist and tries to lift me up like we're figure skating.
i remind thomas, the one with the weird straw hat that we have dinner plans with the rest of the folks in an hour and a half. he ignores me and dances with a far less than 16 year old. i'm getting my picture taken left and right and thinking, this is going to haunt me some day. then i'm asking myself when was the last time i went clubbing before dinnner? yeah! i go to the bathroom. 3rd largest bay? it has the world's most disgusting bathroom! and they call this a restaurant? the doors are falling off the hinges, the toilets are all broken, leaving yellowish brown bowls that don't quite line up with the drain, so there's leaking stink everywhere. i go out onto the beach area and there's another dance floor, exclusively for kids. my light up frisbee would be so rad here. so is my sunday in pemba.

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