Where I’m at: Brazza-opolis
What I’m doing: drying off
Why I’m posting: excitement; there’s an electricity in the air (re: lightning)
First off, I want to say congratulations to my buddies John and Amelia (Meelz) Anderson, who just celebrated the birth of their first child, Eva. She totally looks Meelz, which is lucky for her (just kidding various Anderson readers!).
Second off, the Reds are monsters. The Reds being the Cincinnati Reds professional baseball team. Monsters here being a compliment as to their prolificness. They’re 5-0 and the only undefeated team in the NL. They’re first in every offensive category (just as they were finishing last season). More than that, they’re scoring in bunches often without homeruns. 20 runs in their last two games without a home run. Just. Awesome. (Next day addendum: Reds lost 3-2 last night. All good things…)
Thirdly, I’m sorry to have not posted something happier after my last post. Usually if I write something semi-negative, I try to follow up quickly with a more positive post. I didn’t really do that this time. I blame the internet.
And finally, the crux of this post (or rather, getting to the point): It rains here. I know, I know, it’s the tropics. And I’ve already complained about dust and ants and heat and lack sidewalks. What did I expect?
Honestly, I had expected rain and lots of it. But despite having landed in Congo in the middle of the rainy season (not a joke! sometimes it’s dry!), I had gone 5 or 6 weeks now without having had to walk in the rain. Miraculous perhaps, but what it did was subconsciously change my expectations to where I never expected it to rain when I walked to work. Well today it did. A lot. And it had been raining all night, so the streets were flooded. Which is probably why I couldn’t get a cab and probably why my pants are soaked.
So again, I’m trying to paint a picture of Brazzaville for you. Every car is a cab, every cab is about 100 yrs old and has 3 inches of ground clearance, all the roads have dirt and potholes or are uneven, then when it rains all the roads are rivers, so all the roads are empty when it rains. And I’m left splashing around in my suit (NB: not swim or birthday; = monkey). Which is totally okay. As long as I don’t need to look presentable.
Finally, I’d like to point out something I found hilarious. The staff keeps the bathrooms stocked with at least one can of air freshener all the time. I guess we either ran out of lilac or there was an uprising against it, but we now have a new smell. I kid you not, the fragrance: tobacco. I really thought people used air fresheners to cover up that smell. Naturally, I questioned where a can, written in English but touting “100 ml free!” might come from that valued the smell of tobacco could come from. The answer: Istanbul. Of courrrssse! (that’s for fans of homestarrunner.com) The best of all, though, might be the small ad bubble on the side of the can which advertises that, in fact, it’s not just one but three fragrances in this can, you lucky consumer you. It’s tobacco, perfume (is that a fragrance?!), and…wait for it…air freshener! Yes, that’s correct, apparently this product is for those people who want to cover the smell of bathroom with tobacco and then want to cover the smell of tobacco with air freshener. Whomever the salesperson that pitched this idea was, he should run for president. Brilliant.
Well, that’s it for now. Don’t let the rainy days get you down. After all, the sun is coming out now and it’s looking like a great day.
Who said it: BJ Thomas, former #1 hit singer of the song “Raindrop Keep Fallin’ On My Head” (covered by Burt Bacharach)
Why it’s relevant: my mom used to sing this song to me when I was little. And then I listened to it an oddly large amount when I had a Best of 1969 tape (for some reason) when I was in middle school. It’s a great cheer up song.
The quote: ”Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head. But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red. Cryin’s not for me. ‘Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’. Because I’m free…nothin’s worryin’ me.”