Monday, October 22, 2007
My Bunk mate, the wonderful Michelle, and I.
Yesterday was Sunday morning.
Going anywhere in Liberia is always associated with some kind of stress. There is the stress of trying to catch a taxi (and the awful rejection of standing on the side of the road with your hand waving and watching the parade of empty cars drive pass as their engines whisper the sinister growl of "I'm not stopping to pick you up). There is the stress of finding an appropriate sized group. There is the stress of trying to assemble the appropriate sized group in a timely and efficient manner. There is the stress of trying to talk to everyone in the appropriate sized group. There is the stress of haggling for a decent taxi fare. There is the stress of deciding who gets to go into the Land Rover and who takes the taxi. There is the stress of sitting in traffic and having a ten minute drive take over an hour.
But Sunday mornings aren't stressful because I use to go to African church, but now I go to Sunday brunch. A lovely Sunday brunch.
Breakfast has always been one of my favorite outings. My enjoyment of going out for breakfast far surpasses my love of eating a noontime cup of soup and whole grain bread or enjoying a crisp Cesar salad for dinner. There is something so simple and nice about ordering a fresh vegetable omelet, a strong cup of coffee, and side cup of fruit (Especially when your sitting at Pat's in Newtown).
Sunday brunch is a very relaxing and nice experience. It's a buffet style breakfast that provides a happy time for my taste buds and lovely fellowship for the soul.
Michelle is my bunk mate. She is lovely, patient, kind, and understanding. She shares a 7 x 8 foot bunk space with me, God knew she needed all those qualities :). I have shared my love of brunch with Michelle who now agrees that brunch at the Royal is the only reasonable way to spend your Sunday morning.
Yesterday we went to brunch and we caught a taxi to get there. The relaxationess of the experience was almost ruined by out taxi driver who, "wanted to be my friend''. When a man wants to be your friend, he doesn't want to be your BFF or join you for a casual cup of coffee. He generally wants you to bring him back to America and marry him.
"White girl, White girl, you be my friend", is the commonly sung and slightly obnoxious mantra that no girl ever enjoys hearing. This particular taxi driver was quite aggressive. He took "the long way" to brunch, while telling me he will be visiting America in December while accusing me of not being friendly because I refused to give him my home phone number in the States (I wasn't being "friendly"..that was the whole point).
I arrived to brunch a bit flustered and moderately annoyed. My frustrations were calmed by a hearty omelet and smooth hummus, but next time I might try harder to mooch a ride in a Land rover.
I really am getting excited about the possibility of being anonymous again. It's impossible to blend in here. Your white skin is an immediate give away that your aren't Liberian. The only native light skinned folk are those who are Albino. Being in a culture without much (any?) diversity has made appreciate the diversity which America possesses.
I'm really looking forward to anonymously obtaining a good cup of coffee, a good book, and a very comfy chair. It will be so nice to not be noticed.