Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Surreal Life

It's technically Sunday morning. I just stumbled into my hovel. My Saturday night might seem mundane in America, but it was surreal to live such an ordinary night in Africa.

My friend picked me up around 7:30. We drove about three minutes to his brother's house. Wandered inside, greeted his brother, who was hard at work on the stove, and plopped on a couch to watch DVDs. Dinner was served. We gave up on the scratchy DVDs and switched over to good 'ol television. Then we all trooped outside into the cold, drove back to my friend's place, and chatted until I got tired and walked home.

Ordinary, right?

Except that the roads we drove on weren't paved, there were absolutely zero traffic signs, and the night was pitch black. Dinner was Ethiopian stew, made by an actual Ethiopian. The DVDs were traditional Ethiopian music and drama. The television stations were all South African, but playing terrible, old American films. Back at my friend's room (adjacent to mine; we're neighbors) we huddled around a space heater for survival. When we spoke to each other, we managed to comprehend only about a third of what we were each attempting to communicate. Turns out Amharic is rather tricky.

While I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have such great friends in Loopeng, spending time with them is always a bit, well, surreal.

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