I thought I'd continue my African habits here and refuse to go out at midday so here I am with a heavenly super-fast DSL connection.
Last night shower's revived me a bit so I took a walk around. I ended up going to the local CVS (the local pharmacy & miscelleanous store) and wandered around inside for two hours. Two hours, folks. It was a nice walk on a balmy evening. My friend's house is in of those transitional neighborhoods so it was interesting to see what houses and streets are being gentrified - or not. She told me that last year her immediate neighbor (ie sharing a wall) was raided last year for drug dealing. Her kitchen is being renovated so she only has a microwave and a fridge; I see this as a culinary challenge in the same category as the sickly Peace Corps volunteer I hosted in Bamako who couldn't chew. (I made applesauce, lentil soup, mango sorbet, and poached eggs - I've never worked my blender so much.)
Overall it was a good trip coming over but long and of course it's always just so difficult travelling in Africa in general. I kept telling myself, "I'll be fine once I get on the plane." And it was especially as I got some sleep and the flight was only half full. There was a group of wide-eyed Rwandan women, some Baptist missionaries from Texas Tech University (I thought there were Peace Corps volunteers at first but then decided they looked too wholesome and virginal), and a number of French or Italian couples with Burkinabe babies. (Burkina Faso has an agreement with several European countries for adoption but not with the US.) I was surprised that "Brokeback Mountain" was on offer as an in-flight movie. I could imagine some poor Burkinabe tuning in thinking that it would be all about...cowboys, as it were.
Unfortunately the Paris-CDG airport has shown little improvement since last year except that now the hard plastic chairs have thin cushions. The plane arrived at 6:30am and I went ahead to the other terminal, and found that the electronics shop and the sunglasses boutique were open but not the fast food restaurant or the magazine stand. Hello?
Hah. Where did you do PC? I meant to but never did, because once I was done with my MPH, I thought it would be better to make money. I am not sure that I made the best choice at this point, since now I have student loans AND consumer debt... oh well!
cdg is incredible isn't it? it's so darned big, and then when i got to my gate the other day, there were about 20 seats and not much more space to accomodate a 747 full of people. it was a nightmare, cheek by jowl and everyone blocking the shops.