Friday, March 2, 2012

the eggs: you just never know

so last time i thought i had settled the issue with the eggs. there are people who walk around with 15 layers of cardboard racks of eggs on their heads. i used to think, wow, they're super agile and steady to not let those eggs fall! but in kinshasa, it turns out they are mostly hard boiled. no big whoop.
so we were on the road the other day, on our way back from bombo lumene and i had skipped lunch because i opted for a swim, and so i was starving.
the two others congolese guys with us asked to stop at this little market, and they got out and started haggling over pondu, these huge bushes of greens that are really tasty. they were buying piles, i mean, piles so large they ended up filling the entire back of our truck. i like to make funny of the taxis with this stuff sticking out all the windows, but that was eventually us.
anyway, they were doing their thing and i scanned the market and woot! there's an egg lady! so i jump out and get some eggs. i hear our driver start to say something like "check that the eggs are....." but i was too far away.
i buy 2 eggs for 600FC (pricey!) and i say to the lady, who has 2 kids hanging on her back "these are cooked right?"
and she nodded and i added, "well OF COURSE they are cooked ! who would buy raw eggs in 30 degree heat from some lady on the side of the street, right?"
and this is an important point of this story - she gave me a napkin. albeit a tiny napkin, it was a napkin, in a bag, to indicate i would be eating this egg very soon.
so back in the car, i'm riding middle backseat (i lost the shootout) and i'm eager to chow down and this egg is hard to break. i fake trying to break it on the driver's head, but instead kinda smash it on the headrest of the front seat and ...
blubbbbbbb. this egg is not cooked!
boniface is so pissed because he JUST cleaned the car and there is raw egg everywhere.
so he's screaming at me, and i'm trying to hold it right so it doesn't spill, but the white is just dripping between my fingers and i'm yelling at the dude next to me, i don't know his name because he's just a hitchiker but dude, open the window! open the window! and he's some guy who has never ridden in a car i guess (less likely), or maybe all the cars he rides in have no windows (more likely) because he's just pushing on the window, thinking it will project outward, but instead i'm dripping egg on his pants so i turn to my left and the lady next to me is all NO WAY! and this isn't exactly the kind of place you can just stop on the side of the road, there's no shoulder, every other vehicle is a giant truck overloaded with piles of stuff and jugs and goats and they have no visibility, so finally i just fling it outside an open window, and it totally smears all over the outside of the car, attached to small string of egg white on my hands.
and then it was totally silent, like after a big traumatic experience, and we are all checking out clothes, gauging the damage, and boniface is just shaking his head, pursed lips.
so i pull out my tiny napkin, and all i could say was, hey guys, she gave me a napkin, you know.

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