The week has begun after a mostly refreshing weekend. A group of volunteers gathered to celebrate Valentines day late and Saint Patricks day early. There was little recognition of either but there was beer drinking and chocolate made an appearance as well. Perhaps normally I would give you the highlites in a more connected narrative but the thought of typing that on my phone keypad is discouraging so I will present them as blurbs floating in time.
I was somewhat ill for a good part of the trip. I attribute this to some bad eggs I ate the night before, there were some questionable bits in there but I ate them anyway. Everyone asked if I tested my eggs before eating them. This was unknown to me but apparently I should be testing if the eggs float in water or not. Beware of floating eggs, floating is bad. Now I know, although it will be a while before I eat eggs again which really interrupts my simple "eggs as primary source of protein" diet.
I bore witness to some interesting language interaction. To preface the first story Ill say my use of the word "coloured" is being used in the sense of racial classification during apartheid. It was used to describe all of the people who were of mixed racial background. Today many people who self identify or who might be called coloured, speak Afrikaans as a first language. Well, as I was in the lobby of the hotel we were staying in, I overheard a light-skinned black man ask a light-skinned black woman something in Afrikaans. Her reply in English was "I am not coloured, you speak to me in English or in Setswana" switching to Setswana for the last portion. After this the man apologized profusely and carried on in Setswana. I was just shocked at the womans reaction. Living in a country with so many languages, one is bound to guess wrong every now and then. I get Afrikaans all the time but when people hear my accent or hear me reply in English they obligely switch if they can. Perhaps people assuming her race finally got to her and she blew up, maybe shes just a jerk. In any case it was interesting to see a conflict between two nationals over language, it made me feel more South African. The other story is the reverse I suppose. In the same lobby in the same hotel (an interesting place) I saw two young black men get the attention of an older white man, he was in his 60s or 70s. They then preceded to have a brief conversation in fluent Setswana. I imagine this was not a problem for the young men because they were most likely Batswana but I was certainly impressed by the older man who was most likely an Afrikaaner. That sort of thing seems uncommon to me and therefore a powerful statement of respect . But what do I know Ive only been here a few months.
On Sunday, coming back to the village I had the most pleasant shopping and traveling experience yet. I was up early and ready to go, so I was the first person at the market and got everything and was out in 15 minutes, not bad. I was then the only person waiting for the taxi back to the village next to mine. So when a taxi finally came to drop people off it just picked me up and went. No waiting! And I had the entire thing to myself which meant copious leg room. To top it all off the driver was listening to classic American rock. I could not believe my luck. I was blissfully enjoying CCR with my window open and got home hours before I was expecting to. Having to go back to the way things normally are the next time might break my psyche but it was nice.
There is more to say and definitely more to expand on but my thumb is sore. Heres another reminder for those that have not donated to klm it would be most appreciated. If there is some sort of negotiation you want for your money lets begin the talks. I propose you donate 1000 dollars. Your move! To those that donated already thank you very much.
P.s. The post title was one of the songs playing in the taxi. Canned Heat, good tune.