Sunday, May 6, 2012

Living in Kinshasa


A Lebanese restaurant, clean & neat.  The eight of us were the only ones with white faces & the object of much staring. We all made friends with the two children next to us whose dad had brought them in for a really gigantic hamburger, so that lightened things up.  Can't say I want to go back, though.  I KNOW the menu just said "Cordon Bleu" (so they didn't PROMISE chicken) but somehow Swiss cheese & ham inside FLANK STEAK just doesn't seem right!
I was thankful not to be one of the unlucky passengers inside this taxi, patiently waiting for some kind of miracle repair.
(Notice the stones placed to keep it from rolling away)
Still getting used to driver-less cars passing us... it's just an occasional right-steering wheel vehicle.
This is what happened not long after I  told George that, with the thousand "near misses" we'd witnessed since our arrival,  I couldn't believe we had never seen an actual accident happen... The car-taxi attempted a U-turn from the far RIGHT (4 lanes over)... and HE was mad at the van-taxi that hit him!  What NERVE for the van to assume the left lane was clear!
And, speaking of nerve... We are traveling north here on the major boulevard and the driver of this red car is coming toward us in our lane...
He apparently has a death wish. 
A very common sight.
Rows of corrugated tin dwellings were pervasive in Ngaba.  They make the one room homes we saw in the countryside, (made out of poor quality concrete or clay brick) look luxurious.
I was looking over the street and plaza, watching an approaching storm and bemoaning the fact that an open truck full of cardboard and styrofoam trash from the Chinese construction next door was going around the triangle while bits of stuff were blowing off onto the street.  It wasn't the first time we'd witnessed this carelessness and I was irritated at it all.  I watched as the wind picked up a large piece of styrofoam and blew it all the way to our side of the plaza and then saw this little girl (whose parents were sitting under the taxi waiting area) gleefully pick up that piece of styrofoam and, squealing with absolute delight at the amazing treasure that had come to her, run to show her parents! 
I am thankful that I am not the Director of Tourism for Namibia.  He has a long road ahead to make THIS appealing!
One day Elder & Sister Bingham came to the Mission Office and "kidnapped" President  & Sister Jameson & me.  They took us to the biggest social event on the Kinshasa calendar for the foreseeable future... it was the long awaited grand opening of a South Africa chain supermarket!!   We were waiting outside for others to join us, but peeked in and gazed with undisguised glee at the large, clean, bright and fully stocked store.  While we waited, we asked "La Vache qui rit" (The Laughing Cow), to take a couple pictures with us.  You may remember the blog picture of his product in a large Christmas billboard still standing atop the Post Office.  Sister Jameson took a pic of Sister Bingham & me with the cow, but I decided not to post that one for two reasons...1) Sister Bingham looks as if she's very afraid he is going to bite her and 2) I look more like a cow than HE does.
One of my happiest findings at this new store... Ginger beer, which is similar to U.S. ginger ale, but SO much better.   The one on the right was served at the pre-Easter dinner hosted by USAID folks in our apartment building & was practically the only non-alcoholic drink available.  Fortunately, I loved it (and yes, I KNEW it was just soda!).
On the other hand... some offerings in the new store were not so exciting.
It's probably better than dog, but I'm not going to find out.
Why on earth would I BUY this when I can produce my own?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving me something to lighten my day as I have had a couple exhausting days dealing with the fact that Cherie has not returned D'Avion as she was suppose to Sunday night. You can read more details on FB. I won't go into details here.