Friday, May 12, 2006

Here it finally is: the third and final episode of my not terribly thrilling adventures in Boromo.
After I was rescued from the exceptionally sturdy Hut of Doom, I was shown to an alternative room on the other side of the compound. It was a small duplex and one side had an air-conditioner. Guess which side I got. But as I am acutely aware that life is basically unfair, I settled into my own hot little cubicle.
Actually, I think I was to ill to complain about much of anything. As soon as I got to bed, I realized that I’d never be able to sleep. I was coughing, blowing my nose unceasingly and feeling very feverish. I didn’t sleep all night. And I don’t mean that I woke up frequently to toss and turn. I mean that it was torture to lie down, so I had to stay awake all night.
As I was too unwell to read, I didn’t have much to do except listen to my next-door neighbors have loud, air-conditioned sex.
Finally at midnight, I went to sit outside. I could barely get the door open. There was an enormous, gleaming motorcycle parked right between the two doors of the duplex. Within a few minutes, one of my neighbors emerged. He was shirtless, with his pants unfastened and he was smoking a cigarette. I considered immediately bolting back to my room, but I didn’t have the energy.
He greeted me politely and told me he ran the gas station at Koudougou (a town not far from Boromo) Then he said, “You sound really sick.. Do you need to go to the hospital? I could get you something from a pharmacy.”
I felt very ashamed of myself. Here I had been thinking that he was some half-naked, smoking, prostitute-frequenting scumbag and he’s offering to go get me some medicine.
Maybe that’s his wife in there and they’ve come for a second honeymoon…
Somehow, I didn’t think so.
I said I’d be fine and headed back towards my room.
“Wait-you’re American, right? I love America!”
“Oh, you’ve been there?”
“No, but I’ve seen movies! I love your country!”

“Well, that’s nice." is what I said. What I thought was "I am sure that repeated viewings of "The Fast and the Furious 2" have given you a really interesting view of the USA. "
" I don’t feel so well, I’d better go rest now.” I added.
“Wait! Wouldn’t you like to go for a motorcycle ride with me? I’m going right now! I invite you!“
“No thanks. Goodnight.”
As I closed my door, he was right behind me asking for my phone number.
So then I was trapped in my room. It was very hot and very boring and I felt very miserable. I would have preferred sitting outside, but that was not an option.
But at 2 am I heard voices outside and the engine of the flashy motorbike started up.
They were leaving!
I got dressed, packed everything and left my room. Dragging my suitcase, I crossed the compound to the huts of my friends. I sat down to wait for morning. There was nothing else to do. The hotel was far from town and everything in Boromo would be closed anyway.
People finally started stirring at 6:30. I really don’t exactly remember what I did from 2 to 6:30. I saw lots of goats and sheep pass by. A few insomniac chickens came around.
It was a long, long wait.
As soon as the hotel staff arrived, I “organized” coffee. As you may have gathered, there were not many amenities and breakfast was not one of them. But I knew I could get everyone moving a lot faster with the help of some Nescafé. The water had to be boiled over a wood fire, somebody had to ride into town to buy some packets of powdered coffee, cups had to be found and washed, etc. Few things are easy in Africa/
Within an hour, I was sitting in Jennifer’s air-conditioned, comfortable Toyota. It was Paradise. I got my hands on the ipod and put on some jazz. In two hours we were back in Ouaga.
Upon entering my house, I laid down on the couch and did not move for two days. And here’s the thing: I’m STILL SICK!!!!!!! The virulent mask festival microbes are still with me and will not go away. And the doctor says all the dust worsened my asthma, So, I have a new inhaler now and tons of other medications to take.
So, was I cursed by vengeful, honey-deprived fairies or am I just a dreadful whiner?
Probably both.

No comments: