Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Facebook's Influence

Perhaps due to Facebook or Twitter's influence, my journal entries (electronically and on paper) have become one to two sentence entries. Hence, the following blog entry with one or two sentence descriptions of recent events or thoughts:

1) My French is as good as my Tagalog, which means that its not great, but I can get by.

2) Speaking of languages, I have found an effective way to learn Bulu, the local language in my village. I just take a French college textbook and translate the lessons into Bulu, with the help of a tutor, of course. This method gives the lessons more structure and less randomness.

3) The sound of Cameroonian drums is pretty awesome. Except when its 5 in the morning, in which case, its annoying.

4) I'm glad that Cameroonians sell rice in the market because frankly, I am Asian and bread is no substitute for rice.

5) I learned how to prepare coffee without a coffee maker (i.e. I use a strainer). A strainer works well with tea leaves as well.

6) I believe in carpooling as much as the next guy, but fourteen people in a car (ie bush taxis) is freaking ridiculous! Thus, I am going to explore other modes of transportation such as a motorcycle. If I just accept the status quo, nothing will change, right? I was thinking that perhaps they could have a bush taxi that has less people but would cost more. Like those VIP buses. VIP bush taxi perhaps? I bet there are people willing to pay extra not to sit in a car with 14 people.

7) Whenever someone says 'Ni ho' or 'Chinois' to me, I feel like I'm in a Seinfeld episode because I feel like shouting: "I'm not Chinese!" And then quickly adding, "Not that there's anything wrong with it."

8) I think solar panels would be great in Cameroon since its an equatorial country and gets more direct sunlight than non-equatorial countries.

9) An acquaintance brought a girl over to my house (his cousin) one night and offered that I sleep with her. Awkward. I declined.

10) Cameroonians love putting the maggi cube in all of their cooking.

11) Had a pretty good meeting with the Forestry delegate at my village. Among other things, I learned that one can sell bush meat at restaurants as long as one had a permit. Of course, the question is: how many have a permit?

12) Recent books I finished: William Easterly's The Elusive Quest for Growth, Roland Bunch's Two Ears of Corn, Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty, Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, and Michael Lewis' Moneyball.

13) I never liked eating raw onions until I ate them with hot pepper sauce and braised fish.

14) Speaking of braised fish, I can no longer eat the braised fish from the street after buying fresh mackerel and realizing how small the street mackerel is.

15) I think I should've brought a portable water filter to Cameroon. Or learn how to make one a la Les Stroud. I've been to meetings where so many water bottles are handed out, which sort of contradict the Environmental-friendly philosophy of my position.