Friday, November 4, 2011

hello mr. grumpy

so my colleagues and i are sitting in a little terrace in libreville, calmly drinking our giant beers, occasionally trying to name each hip hop artist on the extremely why-does-it-have-to-be-turned-up-so-dang-loud tv next to the bar. no, that's not beyonce, that's rihannah. duh.

this old belgian guy comes up to hans to say hi and sits down, and instructs the waitress to bring him a beer as soon as this one is empty - and don't stop with the beers until he says so. he starts rambling ON and ON and ON about how much Gabon sucks, the government sucks, the gabonese people suck (uhh, ya mind buddy? stephane is from gabon and he's sitting right in front of you). and i deduce that he's some sort of old timey botanist or something. the pocketed khaki vest kinda gives it away.

i watch some more jay z and then i hear the guy start bitching about those americans, and their stupid satellite imagery and so then i perk up and lend my ear a bit. blah blah, then he starts talking about congo, and all the stupid satellite imagery those stupid americans collect over there, and how they use computers, to, you know, design parks and corridors and zones and stuff, like robots, you know, these stupid americans, with their little hexagons, and their little digital maps and their silly workshops ---woah woah hey buddy--- led by little girls with cutesy french names like...

---like, my name? hi. nice to meetcha.

so i caught him, a few nanoseconds before he called me a "petasse." wow. so my fame is international i guess.

but it continued. his beer glass never emptied, hours after we paid the bill. every loooooong paragraph started with: . BUT! the problem is....and on and on. hans escaped by faking a phone call, but me and stephane had to listen to him trash our respective countries, our organization, and, of course, the book he was commissioned to write on the whole process, before he quit and dumped it all on me. just last week i started editing his grumpy toned chapters to make it publishable. we left him in the bartalking to a plastic chair. small world.