Thursday, May 13, 2010

Congo Update

-There is a Congolese man who runs on the river loop around the same time we do. We call him Congo Gump. Every day he runs 3.5 hours. We do not run that long. He looks like he moves effortlessly, dons a headband, and wears, what looks like, Converse high top sneakers. Yesterday, he passed me, while running backwards. I think he was mocking me and my glacial pace. That shamed me into running a little faster. Most days he accumulates various running partners for part of his run. Maybe one day I'll rock a headband and join him for a mile or two.

-Last weekend I went swimming in the Congo River. Again. I don't know what's wrong with me. I have swimmer's remorse and, apparently, a dinosaur-size brain. I went out on the boat with some friends and it gets so hot that I think reason and common sense, momentarily, cease to exist. So far no symptoms of anything.

-This past Monday, Henry flew back to Kinshasa after a stop in Belgium. He brought back some Belgian Neuhaus chocolate. Heaven.

-That same day, I went with a driver to pick Henry up at the airport. At a couple points during the ride, I was quite certain we were not going to make it. Weaving in and out of traffic, near pedestrian misses, sudden acceleration, U-turns in the midst of a sea of cars, detours on rutted side roads, impossibly wedged in a jumble of cars and people... The word for traffic jam in French is embouteillage. I use this word a lot here.

-There are a couple restaurant chains in Kinshasa. One is called Hunga Busta. I haven't been but I have heard it's not terrible. The other is Nando's. Both places serve chicken, though I think Hunga Busta also has other things. Weirdly, Nando's also has a location in DC. I think Nando's is the one and only semblance of the first world in Kinshasa.

-This weekend I think we are going to try to make a trip across the river to Brazzaville, Republic of Congo (it's like this whole other country). I have heard the streets are clean and quiet. What's that like?

No comments:

Post a Comment