Here i sit in Lome. In the PC bureau. Its saturday and i am alone in the PCV lounge except for a carpenter repairing stuff and a security guard watching him. the PC likes security.
I cant do a whole lot today. There are a couple demonstrations downtown today, about 1.5k from here. i am staying around the bureau lest i get tear gassed or run afoul of riot police. the opposition has one march planned. after that the 'friends of Faure' are marching to protest that march. or something like that. guess which march is more likely to include tear gas.
i am staying in this one hotel where we PCVs like to stay a lot. its run by a youngish belgian guy. it has wifi of a sort and mostly clean rooms. the downstairs restaurant/bar is really popular among expats. it has cheeseburgers and draft beer. which i can afford maybe once. live music on fridays. excellent people watching, especially if one is interested in prostitutes or old european men with young Togolese escorts.
i walked in last night with a bucket that i had bought for a little project and felt really self conscious. most people who frequent the restaurant look like they pay people to pay someone to use buckets.
yesterday i walked down to the grand marche to look for some stuff. every time i go there, i am amazed by how big it is. its basically downtown Lome, such as it is. i walked through probably 5 blocks worth of pagne/cloth shops.
one thing that i have learned here is the difference between knowing that everything will be ok and accepting that it will. this is usually most applicable to traveling. allow me to demonstrate. i was trying to make it down to Lome at a decent hours on Wednesday. I caught a bush taxi in Sokode that left immediately. the problem was that it left Sokode only half full. So we kept stopping to pick up/drop off people. i knew that we would make it to Lome in decent time, but it was really frustrating because we spent probably an hour and a half changing passengers. I had to force myself to calm down and remember that everything was going to be fine
the fact that the van stunk of burning brakes didnt help a whole lot either
some places along the route national looks like the road runs through a green tunnel because of the grass. its pretty, but it sometimes it makes one feel slightly claustrophobic, especially when there is a overloaded lorry coming from the opposite direction
i miss sidewalks. well, the kind that people are meant to walk on. not the kind that are just an extension of whatever building is behind them.
D told me the other day that she now prefers my iPod to hers. Then she said i should thank her for improving my taste in, and knowledge of, music. the sad thing is that she's right. the punk-heavy library i originally brought to Togo kept me interested for about a month. now she and i have arguments about what Beatles songs are the best and Black Keys' lyrics. I lose but thats ok
I am glad that I am not in the US for the current election nonsense
one redeeming aspect of Lome is the food. however, i've been living on the cheap down here so Ive been eating a lot of spaghetti au gras. Hot peppers and onions count as vegetables, right? there is this little pastry shop a couple blocks from here. they are probably not "great" pastries in the broad scheme of things, but that apple thing tasted really freakin good this morning.