so there's been a bit of a baby boom in yaoundé, a lot of the women i know are all with young kids or on maternity leave. as my housemate, rizbo, new father of a young cute half german baby says "congratulations should be in order for the cameroonian men! these fellas work hard!" fist pump. yeah, maybe. still, women get to celebrate with a vengeance on march 8th.
i actually spent most of my afternoon waiting for my colleague who had invited me over for lunch. he showed up around 4pm, as i should have known. he was sad that i wasn't wearing my special women's day dress! his wife had offered me one the week before, a truly touching gesture, only....well, it was more of a mumu, a giant dome like thing that fell to the floor and got caught under my shoes. so i sheepishly handed it off to my seamstress (you gotta have one in very city), wearing her own elegant, perfectly fitting slender outfit, whistled and said yeah, i can make 10 dresses out of that if you want. and a tote bag. so i was more westernly adorned as we headed off to the edge of town - literally, behind the breezy house stood vast forest covered hills and the view from the porch, sweeping, dusty yaoundé. 4 kids, no water. you have to get it at the well.
i got bitten by mosquitos and sweated a storm before the main course was served, a nasty looking freshwater fish we had bought on the road the day before, stewed in peanut sauce, which made it delicious. after dinner (630pm) we hit the johnny walker black and boxed wine until we all decided to go back into town for the real festivities. we got stuck in a major traffic jam due to rain, but also seas of people, mostly women, flooding the streets, drunk, pretty, jovial.
we decided to go to the bar across from my house, and also one of the other guests who was my neighbor. i arrived to high five the owner walter, "hey weren't you here a year ago?" the bar hadn't changed much, except for the addition of a billiard table, which was unfortunately, just about as big as the room as it was placed in. after inventing a new women's day drink consisting of guiness from a bottle, jagermeister, and schmirnoff double black (emphasis on the double black) i challenged my cohorts, button up shirt and tie wearing phDs to some pool. they have never even picked up a cue before. the antics of this game proved hilarious, as i was trying to explain the rules, but also you couldn't take any shot without jamming your stick against the wall, so you would perch it awkwardly vertically and had no chance of htting anything. ridiculous. i finally showed them that we could unscrew the cues into two parts, and then we played on this giant table with what were essentially toothpicks. speaking of toothpicks, i was later challenged by a visitor, a giant man with a golden michael jordan cap and zero facial expression, half open eyelids, with an immobile toothpick between his lips, which would remain unmoved as he suavely smoked his cigarette. he also smoked me in pool in less than 10 minutes, somehow suavely squeezing around the 10cm open perimter around the table -which was unfortunately also on the way to the bathroom, so anyone going to the loo would also have to squuueeeeze through and you would end trying to hold your drink above your head but then spilling it everywhere or touching someone you really didn't want to. the DJ came around with his wirless mic, signing over the nigerian gangsta rap with his own french lyrics, waving his fist at us "les femmes! ouais ouais!". later on, my colleague gaston who was oddly missing, we figured he was stuck in traffic, came in, completely soaked. what happened?
car broke down.
where is your wife??
waiting with the car.
gaston! i smack him on the head. it's women's day! you go wait with the car in the pouring rain and let her get a drink!
the thought had never even crossed his mind...
the thought had never even crossed his mind...
we continued to play doubles, my guys still not comprehending the rules, moving the balls with their hands when they wanted, playing out of turn, holding the cue backwards. they seemed to enjoy all my double entendres about touching balls and sticks until we segwayed to the sexy move rule, where each player had to jam their butt up against the wall like in a beyoncé video while they took a shot. but that proved too hot for this party. every time someone attempted, the power would go out. pitch black. we waited during a few hopeless tries to get the generator going, but it wasn't enough to fuel both the strobelights and the DJ booth, only one or the other, and that was my cue to leave. cue. hehe. get it?