Saturday, October 17, 2009

I become an action word. Pretty cool.

My postmate Thea told me a story recently that really cracked me up. I’ll try to retell it as best I can. Keep in mind that Thea is a much nicer, calmer, and generally more patient person than I am, thus my amusement.


Thea: Seriously, the other day I think I did a “Fleurange.”

(side note: that's what people call me here, my middle name...)

Me: Oh no, what’s that mean?!! I didn’t realize I’d turned into an verb!! I’m scared.

Thea: I was riding Mokolo Express (one of the local bus companies) the other day to Maroua. You know I hate those trips cause they always drive so fast. I was sitting all the way in the back of the van. We were flying!! Every time we would go around those curves, everyone would grab onto the seat in front of us and we’d all be leaning and swerving. Even the old Cameroonian men. And the car was so loaded down with stuff on top that we were really top-heavy, I mean, really unstable!!

We were just bombing along the road. And you know there’s always little kids just playing right alongside of the road. We’re going so fast, that there’s a group of goats crossing the road. And the driver can’t stop fast enough. So bam, we knock out about three goats. And they just go rolling away under the car. The driver doesn’t even stop or anything to see if they’re alright.

After a little while longer, I asked the old man next to me if it was bothering him—the speed. And he said, 'Yes, they are going fast!' So I said, 'Could you say something? You’re a man. They’ll listen to you. You’re Cameroonian.' And he said 'Say something?' Agggghhhhhh!! So of course the Cameroonians won’t say anything. I really wished you’d been there so you could have said something.

My interjection: Yeah, I've gotten a bit of a reputation here for telling people what I think when they make me cranky, or especially if they’re full of bullshit. (Which parent did I get that from? ;) The following must be doing a Fleurange. But I’d say Thea did pretty damn well herself. Back to Thea’s narration:

Thea: So finally I say, “Chauffeur! We’re going really fast, aren’t we? Can you slow down?” And he makes some bullshit response like, “We have to get to Maroua, non?” So by this time I’m so mad, I’m practically standing, and I’m yelling at him from the back of the van, “CHAUFFEUR, this isn’t safe!! We already hit the goats, what’s next, children?! Us?!” And the Chauffeur says, “Time is money!” I just screamed, “WHAT?!!!! SINCE WHEN ARE CAMEROONIANS IN A HURRY?!!”

At this point I, Fleurange, was dying laughing, picturing all this going down in the dilapidated and overcrowded van, flying and swerving down the road. Shouldn’t have been funny, but it’s just so outrageous, and I’ve never seen Thea lose her cool, (that role is usually reserved for me!) What a great—and unexpected—line from that chauffeur. Seriously, you can wait here ALL day for anything and NOBODY cares, and there's no consequences, but then you can’t slow down 5 MPH for the safety of human lives? Or even adopt a bit of customer-service?! It’s in the interest of your business not to kill your customers! Back to Thea:

So not only did the chauffeur not slow down, I think we went faster. I’ve never gotten to Maroua so fast. My knuckles were white the entire time. I’m going to bring a complaint to the local delegate of transport.

End of story. Thank you for taking your valuable time to read it.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I'm thinking that "pulling a Fleurange" is roughly synonymous with "pakikisama meltdown"...