Monday, June 23, 2008


so when you're a white girl all by yourself on a saturday in kinshasa, there's not much to do. i didn't have plans until 3, and thought i would check out the neighborhood. my hotel is right next to the cimetiere de gombe, thought i would take a look.
as i was entering through the gates some of the police officers sitting under a tree wave me over. this police station is actually a shipping container with holes cutout for a door and a window. they are playing cards and smoking. they ask me what i'm doing under their tree.
well, you waved me over here.
oh. do you want to smoke?
i don't smoke.
do you want to smoke?
we have things besides cigarettes.
are they selling me drugs? uhhh i ask if i can visit the cemetary.
whose tomb do you want to visit?
no one in particular, just curious! hear that? she's curious. they laugh and send me on my way.
the cemetary is a maze of tombs and weeds and lizards everywhere. out of nowhere these two barefoot guys show up and lead me around. they climb all over the tombs like monkeys. i feel weird stepping on dead people. but there's no way to get around, everything is super close to together, almost on top of eachother. i see lots of funny names of people but after a while it gets super creepy. more and more dudes are showing up, surrounding me, and so i exit onto the street.
there, i see one of the guys in the homemade wheelchairs. it's a plastic chair on this altered bike frame thing with three wheels. you pedal with your hands to power the front wheel. guy really wanted me to take his picture and tell the world of his plight. i didn't have any money, if that's what he wanted. he didn't want any money, he just wanted me to take a picture to tell the belgians how much he is suffering. ok, i felt kinda weird, and sad because his chain was broken in two places and so he couldn't really propel himself. my brother could totally fix his chain.
i took a picture but it ended up out of focus. this whole being outside thing was making me nervous and i retreated back to my hotel and the TNA channel (Total Nonstop Action. bring it van damme).
so much for saturday.

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