Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Off Balance

Being away from Thies so long and being so tired made me completely off balanced today. I woke up and could barely drag myself out of bed, but I forced myself since I wanted to see all the girls at Keur Yaay. I'm on my bike almost to Keur Yaay when I hear people screaming my name. It's all the girls from Keur Yaay at a neighboring community center for a technical formation, which means English class was cancelled for the morning. Although I was annoyed that the class was cancelled I really can't be upset since I missed last week and since I got to see Fatou's new weave, which is spectacular. I barely recognized her because she usually sports a helmet style Bob, but her current weave is really long and it totally changed how she looked.

I took a few minutes to catch up with the girls and since no one was at Keur Yaay I forced myself to check in with my tutor. He also wasn't there and he's ALWAYS there! Ah! Taking this as a sign to indulge myself in my exhaustion I headed for home to lay in bed until lunch.

Lunch. Deenba told me we were having Daxin, which was one of my favorites in my home stay town. It's pretty much rice mixed with peanut butter accompanied with pieces of mystery meat. I thought Daxin could do no wrong. Obviously, I was wrong. Oil is a big status symbol here, which means my current family uses a lot more than my home stay family. My Daxin literally had a pool of oil on top, which made it highly unappetizing this was only exacerbated by the fact that when I put the mystery meat in my mouth it tasted liked mutton... aka we killed a sheep 10 days ago for Tabaski and these pieces of mystery meat were the remnants. My stomach turned. It didn't taste too bad, but I could barely force it down so I played with my food and prayed for someone to finish quickly so I could get up from the bowl as well.

I walk back into my room and have a text saying that no one can attend my computer class today. I was happy since I'm still tired, but I also felt a little off since my first day back was so rocky. I decided to go for a walk to buy some tomatoes instead. I have to walk back to the main road through Thies which is about 10-15 minutes one way to get to a veggie stand. And I was harassed the entire way. On my way back, a woman approached me did all the usual greetings and then asked me for money (she's my mom's age). When I politely told her I didn't have any money so asked for my tomatoes. When I declined giving her my precious veggies and started to walk away I heard her call to her children and tell them to run after me and ask for money. It was just one of those events that gets under my skin. I'm definitely getting used to being asked for something all the time, but today it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

Back at home I started reading "My Life in France" by Julia Child because my mom sent it to me and raves about it and said it was a fun light read, just what I needed. Are my mom and I both crazy? I'm in Africa reading a book about Julia Child and French cooking. I immediately became ridiculously hungry and nothing in my treasure trove of goodies could satisfy the urge for deliciousness. Regardless, one of the first passages is about an amazingly perfect roasted chicken, which I must say is one of my personal favorites. The setting where I'm reading this is actually perfect because as I look up from my bench Deenba has a machete poised over a chicken's neck. My mom then boils and plucks all the feathers off and butchers it.

As I sit there watching, my mom asks if I have every de-feathered and butchered a chicken. I replied that I hadn't. I love cooking roasted chicken, but I usually try and force Matt to take the liver and gross stuff out. Well when you buy a chicken in the States it's super clean and you don't have to deal with a stomach full of half digested food. I did not like seeing my left over lunch come out of a dead chicken. Oh well. This also lead me to believe we were having chicken for dinner: incorrect. We had fried fish, fries, and onion sauce. A good dinner. Where did the chickens go?

It was just a weird day. My whole family was in a bad mood. They fought about money all day long. I attempted to hide in my room for the majority of the day because of this and because I was so tired.

It's still nice being home so everything's not so bad. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Boy! I hope MY LIFE IN FRANCE is not a source of torture! Julia would be so proud that you are actually intimately acquainted with the food you eat i.e. Mdm Poulet and Monsieur Mouton. I loved the book because Julia was brave, brilliant and exacting. She demanded so much of herself. She reminded me of you 'Lis'. I am so proud you are enjoying this journey even the off balance days. My grandmothers both killed whatever they ate. It thrills me that you are learning to do the same. You aren't just sassy you are bad ass!