Monday, June 7, 2010
Elinor Dashwood meets Awa NDiaye
I'm currently reading Sense & Sensibility. If you ever want contrast, I suggest you read Jane Austen while riding in Senegalese public transport. Subtle, biting wit while smashed up against a window with no leg room in 115 degree heat is an experience. And when I say 'no leg room,' I mean the back seat of the car had been ripped-out and re-welted in – poorly. I spent the ride in the fetal position listening to six people surrounding me screaming political opinions at each other while blasting a Youssou Ndour song on loop from their cell phones. I suffered some collateral damage when the adamant feelings of one woman led her to whip her heavily beaded shawl around the car. While my temple is still a little sore, she did convince most of the car that President Wade is 'stupid', 'greedy' and 'leading us to ruin.' Of course, there was no evidence that anyone had initially disagreed with her particular diagnosis, but she stamped out all doubt in anyone secretly harboring dissenting opinions. A few times. Just to be sure. I can only assume she was attempting some sort of Pavlovian training where all who heard the name 'Wade' would associate it with mild pain. Although, in defense of the Senegalese Mouride (mafia) owned transport, not even in this situation could make the rainy, chilly, dreary English country scenes seem inviting. I often think that the English are witty mostly as a coping mechanism.
In other news, Anna is pregnant. In about four weeks I will have kittens. Yay? Clearly, even Peace Corps volunteers need some assistance with family planning. But if you are in the West African area and in want of a cat, I can help you out.