just a couple of more things.
1. everyone here has a shitting their pants story. each one worst than the next. if you haven't shat your pants, then you haven't lived in Africa. guaranteed. lull at a party? ask someone their pants-shitting story. my only pant-shitting episode was when i was 4, documented forever via a wonderful photograph....i am dreading when my time comes again...and according to everyone, it will. here, have some more sauteed grasshoppers!
2."le domestique" didn't show for three days in a row. never called or nothing ("even though he has 3 telephones!" filiberto says shaking his finger at me). so, either he's really, really ill, like, unconscious or dead, the rebels have finally come, or he's stolen something big. we were all counting the wads of money in our secret hiding places when he showed up again. he mumbled when we asked what happened. he's kindof a shady character though, he shows up every day in a fly 3 piece suit. then changes into his white pyjamas and starts sweeping, barefoot. the italians treat him like shit, anytime he sits down they yell at him to do something and he sortof listens. i'm 100% sure that when everyone leaves the house he hangs out and watches tv because there's like, practically nothing to do in the house. it's spotless. he irons my underwear, like my grandma. but why the suit? do you think he tells his wife that he works at a bank or something? sometimes, when i leave really early, he's outside, hanging out with the guards, in his suit, swinging in the hammock watching tv (because every house guard basically sets up shop wherever he works - mattress, cooking stove, tv, the works. i have no idea where they poop though).
3. a lot of guys on the street move stuff around in these wheelbarrow cart things, like a car or truck trailer with 2 big tires and a big handle. actually, wait, i think it's just a car trailer. anyway, they'll haul junk, piles of cement pieces or whatever and they have to use the street because the sidewalks aren't big enough. there's one i see near the house that has "Congo Intelligence Agency - CIA" written in sloppy paint on the back of it. one of the wheels is totally flat, and the other is held on to the cart by only 1 lugnut, so it's barely connected to the thing, and it wobbles, really far, more than 90 degrees back and forth, so far that this in terms of propulsion, this wheel might as well be a square. or a triangle, i bet a triangle might be better because every few feet, he has to push it, really hard, to get past the wobble and we'll be at the light and i'll cheer him, with the same rhythm oh...wooo...wooah waooooitsgoingtofalloff!...ahhhhh but it doesn't.
i feel kinda bad, i want to just give him 500 francs so he can go see the wheel repairman, who happens to have his little stand right off the street, but CIA guy is kinda wiley. he's really hyper and walks with really quick steps, constantly screaming and waving at cars to get out of his way. he's most likely entirely crazy.
4. i saw an auto-ecole. they were stopped at the traffic light. they were the ONLY ones stopped at the traffic light, as everyone else is weaving around for their left on red, me first you last and honking, creating a mess. as usual. inside the car was this terrified little congolese guy clutching the steering wheel, white knuckles, with his fat instructor next to him. oh man, i didn't want to be them. especially since it was this teeny tiny yellow kia, it was leaning to the side of the instructor and the thing had not a single working light. it's pitch dark (the chinese streetlights aren't working again - my theory is that they are like christmas lights, where one bulb goes out and the rest are all dark) anyway this car is sitting there, with no turn signals, no headlights - definitely suicide to go into the intersection. but the back of the car, looks like it's been rear ended by a snowplow. just jammed in, it's a miracle the wheels are still touching the ground, and there's actually a woman, crammed into what's left of the back seat. hilarious. especially since it's the time of day (rush hour) when the stoplights suddenly just flickr and shortcircuit and go all green, or all red all at once. what will this person learn? madness.
5. and can i just say how everyone thinks i'm the shit because i get driven to and from work in a really sweet mercedes? i swear, it's nicer than the most corrupt guy at our office. everyone asks me for papi's number, and i give it to them, but whenever they call he says he's busy. when i call he's all no problem! 10 minutes! so everyone just uses my phone to call him and that's why i never have any minutes left. and even though he always shows up an hour later when he says right away, the point is that you're sitting in a sweet mercedes, and now the stereo works, big time. so, bass, beats, ride.