Monday, July 14, 2008

Making friends

*I wrote this a couple days ago, but couldn't find any internets by which to deliver it. Sorry for the delay...

I dooni diarra n ye...

After 24 hours of travel, I finally made it safely to Tubani So, the Peace Corps training center just outside of Bamako.

A couple quick stories...

I made a point to use my last flushy-swirly in the Paris airport. Goodbye, running water.

As we were all getting on the plane in Paris, a Malian man looked at me and asked (in French) if we were all going to Bamako. After responding that we were, I got to talking with him - slowly and in French. Knowing Malian people are generally have a sense of humor, I asked him if he had asked about us going to Bamako because he thought he was getting on the wrong plane. He responded with a big smile that there are never that many "toubabs" (Bambara for white folks) on that flight. I knew I was in.

The kid on the plane next to me was about 11 (and Malian). I helped him to figure out the in-flight entertainment system. When he finished his lunch, he gave me his Mars bar. Amarain, my first Malian friend.

Most of the Malians on the plane (and some of the white folks, which surprised me), were not familiar with the airplane lavatory system. I was waiting in line once, and the woman in front of me couldn't figure out how to push the door (the foldy one) to get inside. I helped her. When the flight attendant walked by, he noticed that I was waiting and tried the door, which, since this poor woman couldn't open, she certainly couldn't lock. That was awkward. The flight attendant locked it from the outside for her. Then when she was done, I could hear her struggling to get out. After discovering that throwing her weight against the door was ineffective, she finally figured it out . When I got in there, I found the ashtray loose in the sink. Now that I think about it, it does look strikingly like a door handle.

I've gotta run, so I'll stop there for now. So far so good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The airplane lavatory story is funny! Haven't witnessed that before in all my international travels.