Thursday, November 3, 2011

the dinner party

so today was the wishy washy meeting day. i was warned about it, a meeting with ms. wishy washy, whom i had met over a phone call years ago, and was indeed the most wishy washy person i had ever talked to then, and still today.
ms. wishy washy has a way of talking slowly, elegantly, what with her drapey scarf around her neck, flowing hair, underbite, she and promises the world! endless amounts of data, sortof...maybe...because as soon as you mention concrete details, like, oh, today? or can you put that on this usb stick? it then dissipates into total vagueness. if someone could speak like a grey fog cloud, it's ms. wishy washy. it sortof became tiring, and then i got antsy because i was hungry and it was time for lunch, so goodbye ms. wishy washy see ya around, whatever, maybe sometime. and that was it.
at the end of the day, our little dutch colleague hans comes into the office and declares he's invited to a dinner party at one of the other ngos. and is allowed only one guest. he scans the room -the gabonese guy sinks behind his screen and quickly mutters, no way man, not interested in being drawn into that trap again!...the camerounian waves his arms, champions league! sorry! so then the dutch guy looks between me and mahmoud, the tunisian whom i say is not white enough to be an expat. mahmoud is also on some sort of anti-ramadan diet where he only eats [an excessive amount] during the day and diets at night. and so i'm selected.
oooooh! dinner party!
we drive off through town, getting lost here and there. i'm getting all excited about a home cooked meal. what should we bring to our hosts, a pineapple? giant bottle of beer? hans says, we bring nothing but ourselves, we will be the most interesting people there. oh, it's a trap indeed.
we show up and it's this massive house with lots of random boats parked in the yard....and who is there? well if it isn't little miss wishy washy. yargh. i quickly say hi, and ask if i can use the bathroom (why do we do this? has anyone ever said, no you can't?) but i have to pee like crazy, because when night falls i learned on day 1, never, ever, ever use the office toilet. you turn the light on and every surface is covered with huge flying cockroaches who are much less scared of me than i am of them. and they seem to like toes. the first time i screamed hans screamed back from his desk oh, nicer than the toilets in germany eh?!
so i run to the bathroom and i'm about to do my bidness and woah, there is a gargantuan turd floating there. huge. hmm. seeing as i'm have a sortof complex about toilets, and am a self proclaimed pro at fixing them, i get striaght to work, take the lid off of the top, check the water hose, test the lever action thingie, try a little flush etc.. etc...i find the source of the problem (has anyone touched this thing in days??) and so i flush some more, things are going great, things are working, but let's face it-while the mechanism functions this thing is just clogged. really clogged. i don't get it - in libreville there are handmade call-a-plumber signs on every light post. but the water level's rising, i realize i've been in here way too long, it smells, i flushed many times. crap, i'm like the guy in the fukushima reactor core, time to get out! now!
i stroll back to the kitchen like nothing's wrong, la dee da have myself a little gin and tonic and engage in some mundane conversation about golden cats. cool, golden cats.
anyway, the lady who studies turtles gets up and minute later and we hear her screams "oy my god! clooooggggged!" and she starts freaking out and everyone suddenly looks at me. me! what did i do? i didn't even go! i'm turning bright red, even though i'm telling myself, don't blush, don't blush! it's a sign of guilt! but my cheeks are naturally red. crap! can't we talk about cats some more? but it's so fucking hot don't they have air conditioning. dang! hans is disapprovingly laughing. the botanist, panther expert, cat lady, turle woman and tree dude all think that i destroyed ms. wishy washy's toilet.
i'll have you know i actually fixed it and you should be thanking me!
and that's when we left the dinner party.