you know you've been in congo too long...when you start recognizing the different types of weapons. one of the guys in front of my house has a sweet ak-74. sniper rifle stlye with a little stand and a big bullet-holder-thingy (there's probably a more accurate term for it). anyway, he's a little effeminate and carries it around like a purse. it's really odd the way he swaddles to move the cone in front of the driveway.
anyway, since monday they started blocking off a larger radius around the house and you need to go through more checkpoints to get home. at some of them they check the trunk of the car and stuff. papi will pop the trunk, and they are a little startled at first, because it opens by itself, like how you can scare a cat when it's really curious, and it jumps 10 feet in the air...so i'm asking papi, seriously, where did you hide the grenades, don't lie to me..while the military guys, they inspect and finally say "ok go on your way" but they don't shut the trunk. and so papi is all, rollling down the window, shut the trunk please! and the military guy says, "what, you can't shut the trunk from inside?" and then you realize, right, why is it that you can open the trunk with a button, but there is none to close it?? congo:1 ; mercedes: 0
but yeah since papi has his sweet mercedes, and speaks swahili, they all nab him for change. it's quite an effective tollbooth. luckily he doesn't mind though, he'll say, giggling, with his friendly smile "i'd rather pay them then be shot in the face." couldn't agree more, papi. especially since most of them area totally wigged out on drugs. but i will start buying them cigarettes though, just because i think it will be badass to give these guys in camouflage cigarettes. so i told papi i want to buy cigarettes, and papi has like, eagle vision, he scans the sidewalks for all the guys with the stuff on their heads. and just imagine now, no streetlights, muddy yet dusty streets, you can barely see 10 feet in front of you, people everywhere, unrecognizable faces, just clothes floating with various floating head markets. oh! that guy has cigarettes but, only marlboro. i want amabassador brand. the real deal. so we keep going. if you need avocados, kleenex, phone credit, you can find that too, on someone's head. but it's real fun to just stop on the side of the road and order from the window, drive through style. the other day i was making a joke about reefer and papi is all, oh, you want reefer? i know just the place, right there, and there's a dude, sutting under a tree, 50 feet from 6 policemen. well there you go, anything you want in congo, it's right in front of you!