Monday, April 1, 2013

new kinshasa digs

so i moved out from the italians house. couldn't handle the downtown madness from 5am to midnight non stop horns, screaming, etc... turns out my friend marie has a sweet little bungalow with a spare room and a giant yard, not too far from the office. perfect.
i get there with my bags and this miniature man is ironing, ironing like he has the nobel prize in ironing. he is explaining to me, how he perfectly irons underwear and socks. i'm like, ok, yeah thanks we don't need to iron my stuff, really it's ok! and marie is like no no no you can have these worms in your laundry, so you iron to kill the worms. ok then! so i follow jean claude some more as he makes a t-shirt into a perfect cube. 
marie's boyfriend was leaving town for a month though, so we needed jean claude was eager to mention that his son, nelson (a.k.a. mandela) might be free to be a nightwatchman. ok, send him over.  
so nelson shows up that night and we set him up in the yard, in the little gazebo precisely and do our thing. an hour later we hear snores from his little makeshift bed and we go over and this man is dead to the world. we are nudging him, kicking him, clapping in front of his face, nothing. 
finally, he awakes. 
so nelson, we're not paying to sleep, buddy, and he's like, yes madame yes madame and he turns up his radio and we go inside.
next night, same thing.
next night after that, same thing. 
so finally on the fourth night, i'm getting dropped off and knocking, knocking, knocking on the gate. all the other guards are in their little chair posts and screaming, mandela! open the door! 
mandela is sleeping.
so marie opens up and we nudge him awake and it's like, hey, nelson, if you are going to be a night guard, you need to be able to, i don't know, be awake, and maybe defend against intruders?
so he complains that he doesn't have a machete, and if he had a machete, well then he would be more apt to defend the house and stay awake. as he is saying this, he is zorro-ing his phrases with an invisible machete sword "if a guy comes in here, i cut him! if he runs away, i will run after him and cut off his hands! if i reach his house, i will cut off his mother's hands!" and so on.
marie is not convinced. no no no she says, i will not wake up to cadavres in my garden. no blood! a machete is out of the question. and i'm like, marie, it's just talk, he won't actually kill anyone.
and she's like no no no, when a congolese threatens to kill someone, they really want to, you don't joke around.
marie tells me about how she was in this village last week, and this farmer was really upset that someone had killed his cow, so he went to marie's project office and asked for money to have a shaman curse ritual on the perpetrator, sacrifice a goat and make the man's life miserable, and if that didn't work he would request some money to put a little gang together and kill the guy. and marie is all, our project is here to help you guys protect and use the forest and i'm sorry, but assassinations are not really in the budget. 
and the man was all, it's ok, i will kill him myself. and he did. apparently, they are serious about their threats.
so mandela, you don't get a machete.
and he's all, whatever, i don't care! i'll burn him! if a guy comes in here, i'll burn him alive!" woah, woah, mandela, let's relax, you will not burn anyone alive. and so marie starts talking about a lead pipe, and how a lead pipe might be ok because it's more a weapon of defence than offence and more blunt force trauma than blood, but i'm more interested in knowing how mandela wants to burn someone alive.
he's says "easy" you tie him up and then get 2 tires (tires are indeed easy to find) put them around his chest and then you dump a little gasoline on him and light it, easy. 
so we left mandela to his fencing practice and i put "lead pipe" on the shopping list on the fridge.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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