Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tu Dis Tomate, Je Dis Tomato

A look back at some of the conversations I've had with Cameroonians:

1) Cameroonian: "You should leave a mestizo child before you leave Cameroon. You should also try tuba, a type of traditional food."

2) Cameroonian: "When someone calls you 'le blanc', 'ntangan', or 'chinois', that should not be a problem. You should not be offended."
Me: "So its ok if I call Cameroonians 'le noir' or 'evindumot' (Bulu for black person)?"
Cameroonian: "No, that's offensive."

3) Gendarme: "Tu fais quoi au Cameroun?" ("What are you doing in Cameroon?")
Me: "Peace Corps."
Gendarme: "P Square? Tu chantes?" ("You sing?")

4) Cameroonian: "Ce n'est pas Chine. C'est Cameroun." ("This is not China. This is Cameroon.")
Me: "Ce n'est pas Chine? Oh, merci pour l'information." ("This isn't China? Oh, thanks for the information.")

I sometimes think my sarcasm will get me in trouble one of these days.

5) Me: "I have a pretty sizable front yard. I should turn it into a demonstration plot with two rows of crops surrounded by agroforestry trees or shrubs."
Cameroonian: "That's not a good idea. We don't farm our front yards here in the south. You can farm on the side of the house, but never the front yard. This is not Western Cameroon. To be well-integrated in the South, you have to be like Southern Cameroonians."

So I guess that means I should go deep into the forest and slash-and-burn my way to a farm if I wanted one.

6) Cameroonian: "You should marry an African woman because she will be submissive. African women are not like the women in the US."

7) Me: "Tu as le petite Fanta?" (Do you have a small Fanta?)
Cameroonian: "Non, c'est juste ça." *He points to a bigger size Fanta.*
Me: "Fanta normale?" (Normal Fanta?)
Cameroonian: "Fanta moyenne." (Medium Fanta)

8) Me: "C'est comment, uh… Attend, C'est Bertrand? Non, Marcelle, n'est-ce pas?"
Cameroonian: "Non, je suis Augustine."

Whoops.

9) This one happened just a few days ago at a bar:

Cameroonian: "J'ai soif. Tu m'achete une biere." (I'm thirsty. Buy me a beer.)
Me: *no response. I just walk away.*
Cameroonian: "Tu es 'shish'"(You are cheap.)
Me:  *I turn around and walk towards him.*  "Est-ce que tu me connais?" (Do you know me?)
Cameroonian: "J'ai soif. Je veux une biere." (I'm thirsty. I want a beer.)
Me: "Pourquoi est-ce que je dois acheter une biere pour toi? Je te connais?" (Why should I buy you a beer? I know you?)
Cameroonian: "Je suis ton frere." (I'm your brother.)
Me: "Quel est mon nom? Si je suis ton frere, quel est mon nom? (What's my name? If I'm your brother, what's my name?)
Waitress: *saying something in agreement.*

I walk away and leave the jerk at the bar. Yeah, I think its time to leave Cameroon.

1 comment:

DaPHne LAura said...

Yikes yes perhaps it is time to run away ... back to the land where women aren't submissive. :D