April 24, 2005: Headlines: COS - Cameroon: Blogs - Cameroon: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer "Tropnoir" writes about a cool date in Cameroon

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: Peace Corps Cameroon: The Peace Corps in Cameroon: April 24, 2005: Headlines: COS - Cameroon: Blogs - Cameroon: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer "Tropnoir" writes about a cool date in Cameroon

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Peace Corps Volunteer "Tropnoir" writes about a cool date in Cameroon

Peace Corps Volunteer Tropnoir writes about a cool date in Cameroon

"We must of walked about two hours in Douala which is not exactly the safest city in the country. And we talked about nothing at all. Which was the best part we just talked about whatever came to mind."

Peace Corps Volunteer "Tropnoir" writes about a cool date in Cameroon

cool date

I was finishing up teaching English here in douala and had a few errands to run before getting back to Loum. I ran quickly to the market to buy ripe plantains to eat for about the next week to week and a half. I took my time getting to the car park because I just knew that I would not find a car that was near full and would have time to drink a beer and eat a bit or two before I got back into the car and waited some more. To my surprise when I got to the car park there was a car that had just filled up and was getting ready to go. It was a 70 seater bus with 70 people in it and ready to get on the road. I ran to one of the workers that I have gotten to know and explained that I was in a rush that one of my children was sick (they don’t seem to understand time unless there is illness or blood involved) he smiled and said “ donne moi ton argent,” I handed him the money and he ordered me on to the bus. I entered and with the dumbest look on my face that I could said “ there are no more seats” he smiled again and told me to hold tight. He ran off and came back with a small wooden chair to put in between the aisles. I took the small chair and began looking for where I would sit. The first place that I went to sit down this girl says ever so politely. “ Don’t sit there it is too hot back here go sit somewhere else” I got ready to give her my usual ‘fuck off’ but I looked up and she smiled from ear to ear with the biggest whitest teeth that I have ever seen. Yeah I was mesmerized. So what did I do… picked up my chair and carried my ass to the front. Hell I got no game!!

So we finally get on the road and the driver is obviously looking for some money. He starts loading on more people as we get on to the road. He got about 15 more people on to the bus, which of course made the bus hot. And the windows were helpless. So he opened the double doors to get a good breeze flowing. Then he started back into the same foolishness that all Cameroonian drivers seem to do (I swear that they are taught to act like fools on the road at driving school… I mean they ALL do the same dumb shit… but I digress) he drove too close to a parked Mack truck and clipped the door and the woman on the road next to the truck. The glass on the door shattered and made a big enough noise that he had to stop. When he did all the passengers got out of the bus and sent to survey the damage (as if they can do anything) that is when we told the driver that he’d hit someone. “ I’ve hit someone” he said with false concern only hoping that it was not serious enough that he could be asked for money. But wrong it was bad enough that he had to go and take the woman to the hospital. I, the moral American, started complaining about the way that people drive in Cameroon and a few other people chimed in. I turned to see the same girl with that beautiful smile. The conversation degraded into the same bullshit complaints about Cameroon and I was out. This chick I guess was on the same level with me and we started talking about it. Like half way through the conversation she asked “ tu est. ne dans un pays Anglophone” I just smiled and said yes my country is English speaking but I am African (my usual lie that most Cameroonians can see through) she gave me that smile again and said “ what part of America are you from” (she saw through that one faster that I thought she would) so I was back to square one. Just trying to continue our conversation while we were waiting for the police to come and get the buss drivers information (this took over two hours to just make a photocopy). It was hot and I offered her a drink. I thought that I wouls be in for it there cause she could have asked for the most expensive beer they had and drank the joint knowing that she would never have to deal with me again or if she did deal with me again that I would be rolling in money and take care of whatever she wanted. (sugar daddy I am not!!) but she didn’t she got a small soda and drank it real slow. (I got the most expensive beer that I could on the other hand but that is neither here nor there.) we talked about a lot of things the only thing that really stuck out was when we started talking about Cheik Anta Diop. I was amazed to find that she not only knew the name but knew a little bit about what he wrote about. (since I myself don’t know that much about him the conversation did not go all but so far). I got the digits and said that next time I was in Douala that I would come and see her. But I have to say that she has not asked me a lot about America (a country that I am tired of talking about) out side of the normal small questions that we all have about other countries.

fast forward

I finally got home and I called her about a 3 or 4 days later to tell her that I would be in Douala this Saturday and that I would see her when I came. She said cool and that she would call me. I was expecting her to beep me and I would have to cuss her out for that shit cause that really is becoming more and more of a pet peeve. But she called me and asked what time I would get here and if I was in a rush to get back to loum. Of course she got all the time I had to give since she called me and I was not busy.

So this morning I got to douala a bit early and did my English lessons and was determined to finish at about noon. I got done at 2. I called her and she told me to wait where I was and that she would come and get me in about 20 minutes. I got ready for the long wait cause 20 minutes in Cameroon is really one hour. But sure enough 24 minutes later she pulled up in a taxi and was like “sorry I took so long.” I wanted to kiss her right then and there. She was running a bit behind and knew that I was waiting on her and she even apologized for the 4 minutes that she took extra because of traffic. (this is VERY rare in Cameroon).

She asked me where I want to go and I was like this is your town you tell me where we are going. she offered to go to her house first and then to go to a baptism at a friends house. I was like “ just take me where there is food!” (What?! I was hungry). She gave me that smile again and laughed a little and said lets go to my friends first cause she will have food. She asked if I knew what a baptism was and of course I was like “ hell yeah” but then she threw the twist on me. It was a muslim baptism ( I didn’t know they baptized) this was bound to be good. We caught a cab and I got my money ready to pay the cab, expecting at any moment that she would be like, “pay the man” but she paid. I swear jesus must of opened the door for me cause normally in Cameroon if I want hang out with a sister they are expecting me to pay all. ( and I even brought enough money this time to cover all costs). This girl was mad cool. At the baptism she kept feeding me until I had to give her an angry look to get her to stop. Her response “ I want to see you gain two kilos in front of me” (don’t ask how much that is I just don’t know). After all that food I got put to work with a video camera and a new mother pushing for me to film everything. I got a bit fed up with her (the mother) towards the end but it was still cool hanging out listening to the wide array of languages.

After that we went to her house. She lives with her cousin who works some where and all this girl has to do is go to school and stay out of trouble. They had more TV stations than I have ever seen in Cameroon. I watched a little CNN and then got tired of seeing white people. So we cut out. We must of walked about two hours in Douala which is not exactly the safest city in the country. And we talked about nothing at all. Which was the best part we just talked about whatever came to mind. I got a phone call from my friend here who was driving around and just happened to be near by he told me to wait and that he would come pick me up. While waiting I kissed her on the lips and said the dumbest shit I have ever said “that what I have been waiting to do” but she got me again “ was that even a kiss” and she kissed me a bit more intimately. My friend passed and picked us up. He thinking she was a hooker offered of she wanted to come back to the house. When she said no he was like “ is she sure?” I looked at her with those eyes that say “are you sure?” she smiled again and said she was sure that she did not want to come back to the house with me. I gave her that same look again (what I had to try?!) we droped her off where she could get a taxi home and she kissed me on the cheek and told me to come to her house before I left Douala. I hoped in the car and we took off. I called about 15 minutes later to make sure that she got home ok.

When this story was posted in June 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

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