Thursday, February 12, 2009

Conges de Noel: Au Plage

On this trip to Kribi, we are five and therefore able to take the entire back row to ourselves. It’s more comfortable emotionally to be stuffed next to your friends, but physically, not much better. We are all a healthy weight, so it is better than being five to a row including two Mamas.

When we arrived at the hotel, we left our things in a room and headed straight to the water. We bobbed in the waves, giddy that we were on vacation. Eventually we walked down the shoreline, climbing the occasional rock grouping and watching the patterns the waves make on the sand.
Life here is so challenging, especially our experiences over the first semester at school. I felt I had earned this vacation, much more so than any other I’ve taken. Kribians are used to catering to foreign tourists.

Eating out in Kribi was like being back in America. I should qualify that statement by reminding you that I’ve not been to a developed place in six months. If I had visited Kribi fresh off the plane, it probably would not have dazzled me. However, the wait staff shows up to take your order immediately. They’ll probably even write it down. That means your pizza arrives without olives as requested. When we ordered pizza, it came after twenty five minutes! I’ve become so accustomed to patiently waiting. I usually have to start thinking about a meal long before I actually want to eat. But in Kribi, food came within an hour.

Here’s an example of a delicious meal in Kribi: fresh fish caught by men in dugout canoes on the ocean. We had grilled bass. The fish is served whole, with accompaniments such as mayonnaise, sliced raw onion, and spicy sauce. You pull off chunks of fish with your fingers. Cameroonians eat the whole thing: bones and eyeballs as well as the flesh. I eat the skin, but pick out the bones and leave the head intact. We had fried plantains and French fries as a side.

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