Sunday, March 9, 2014

things that cannot be unseen: friday night in yaoundé

i taught a weeklong course in yaoundé as soon as friday noon hit, i could tell my students had the itch to just pack up and go drinking. i chatted with the 2 younger guys from the ministry of forests, asking them what one does on fridays in yaoundé. 
we drink! 
can i come along?
of course!
so i meet them a few hours later at some roadside half closed chicken rotisserie place near the university. you kinda just serve yourself from the big cooler. everyone drinks guiness in bottles, it's digusting. like some sort of rotten molasses beer or something. they do not know what guiness is. 
we're having a sortof intense bushmeat conversation and i'm getting devoured by a mosquito. one little fucker is just eating me alive, despite the tropical mega strength bug juice. as usual, no one else is prey just my sweet european blood. they don't believe there is a mosquito even after i show them the giant welts on my ankles. we decide to go somewhere else. 
to the standard central african night club recipe: music so loud it's distorted you can barely recognize it, fog, laser lights, giant bottles of beer and someone grilling chickens out front. having been to places like this before i know what the bathrooms are like. it's a bathROOM. i.e. one closet space with some urinals and busted up turlet, all together and jolly. i'm already regretting my second beer and scoping out where it could possibly be. out next to the dance floor is a door, 4 1/2 feet above the ground, that seems to have missed the staircase going up to it, a few more feet away. an african architect woopsie. the men kind of gymnastics their way up to the threshold whereas the women go up the stairs and make a leap of faith onto this little ledge to go in.
this guy oliver had already went and i asked him, are the women and men separate or is it a communal thing in there. and he's all don't worry, it's totally fine, the women's stall are separate. do you want me to go with you?
no it's ok, i can handle it. so i go up the stairs and everyone at our table is like, cheering me on, take the jump! and i make it and i push the door open and gaaaaaaahhhh! i was like in a detective tv show, the first person who opens the door to find the corpse of my husband or something, horrified eyes, covering my mouth with a hankerchief and turning away in tears. that was me, though it was infinitely worse. and it wasn't just the smell, it was this huge black penis almost in my face, something that belongs on a horse. yeah, separate bathrooms, there are stalls at the end but it's a parade of dongs and guys who are like, heeeeeyyy white girl! i need to get the hell out of here so i go back out the door, but there are all these people coming in the ledge is single file, so i shuffle along the ledge in the other direction, and i'm backed up against the wall, like a jumper on the 76th floor who needs to be talked down. olivier comes over and i'm screaming over the music "that is so not my definition of separate!" and he's like oh come on, and he carries me back to the door and shoves me back in there. i make my way to a piece of broken porcelain that can't even hold the liquid inside it, i pee and it all squirts out a crack on the side on my ankles. i would have been better in an alley. i come out and all my peeps from our table are there like, yaaaay! you made it! and we're having some sort of party in this disgusting place, where we celebrate midnight, which is now international women's day. yaaaaay.
after finally leave, it's a whole mess of taxis at this roundabout. and i'm such a white bitch because i really have to pee, and i want to get home like, now. and well, if you have enough money (3$) you can basically commandeer your own taxi, with the poor fools inside it. so i find one and i'm only half apologizing to the other passengers as i whip out my 2000 franc bill, which means my stop is first, and completely in the other direction and so they can either come along for the ride or try their luck elsewhere. sorry suckas. 

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