Thursday, June 15, 2006

The times, they are a-changing

Last night, it rained. Just a sprinkle really, with some impressive sounding wind. Not that the scattered drops weren’t plenty to leave the kerang-kerang** road in front of my apartment a muddy, puddly mess. The only question now is whether we’ll need boots to slosh through the mud once the rainy season really picks up, or if we’d be better off with hip waders.

This was only the second time I’d seen rain in Senegal, and I may sound properly wary and cynical of the impending disgustingness that will be Dakar: Version Wet, but it’s a front. I’m still giddy and excited to see rain, feeling the need to point it out to everyone I pass (I am nothing if not a master of the obvious), and happy to walk through the drizzle without a jacket or umbrella for the sheer pleasure of feeling the drops on my skin.

In other developments, I’ve moved. In keeping with my plan to do everything Rose does, (including the part where I become a successful, self-sustaining journalist), I took over the second room in her apartment after her previous roommate left Dakar. Which makes it sound like one or the other of us chased her out of town. Totally not true. I swear. I’m pretty sure it was the maid who left the sheep’s head in her bed. And it was just a cultural misunderstanding anyway.

Regardless, the room was empty, and I pounced. I now live a five-minute walk from a gorgeous beach. You can see the ocean from my bedroom window.

I love living by the ocean. LOVE. And, because I don’t really have much work on at the moment (let’s not dwell, m’kay? Freelancing is hard. I’m working on it.) I have plenty of time to take advantage.

Today, for instance, I will be heading over there (as soon as I finish this blog entry) for some attaya and djembe drumming.

See, I’m not the only person in Africa with a little time on her hands. There’s one or two others who are… underemployed. (Is that considered an understatment if 40% of Senegal’s working age population don’t have jobs?) So when I showed up at the beach on a weekday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I met a beach bum/musician who hangs out there all day, everyday.

One thing led to another, and before I knew it, he was teaching me djembe drumming. (One thing being an invitation to sit over by the parasols near a snack/drinks shop, and another being an invitation to teach me djembe drumming). I was somewhat wary, but he neither declared his love for me nor did he ask for my phone number, so I think we might actually be able to be friends. Friends who teach each djembe drumming. Rock.

Before I go, however, a random story that will only interest those of you who have seen my hands.

I have… sort of weird thumbs. They’re kind of… Toe-like. Or, the one on my right hand is. The one on my left hand is closer to normal.

I’ve always been vaguely embarrassed about it, but then, I figure everybody’s got their own toe-thumb deformity (double-jointed this, extra long toes that, what have you). Plus, people tend not to notice until I point it out. Not like a sixth finger (which, by the way, a woman in one of our Guinean million-places had, growing right out of her pinky. Now that was freaky).

But yesterday, I was hanging out with Michelle and I discovered the she ALSO has the sameweird mis-matched toe thumbs. No wonder we’re friends.

**kerang-kerang: Wolof for… a bad road. Bad pavement, potholes, poorly graded, what have you.


Blogger Anna said...

For some reason, this entry really made me miss you and your thumbs :(

11:57 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

kerang-kerang: like wash., d.c., roads, you mean.

my second toes are extra long, but i hear that's a sign of intelligence. perhaps the same is true of your odd thumb. oh and i'm not at all jealous of all the time you are NOT WORKING. not one bit.

12:47 PM  
Blogger a.maria said...

huh. i thought kerang-kerang was the sound of the rain on your roof or something! cool new wolof word!

5:00 PM  

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