"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


found that i had only paper wings

Well, Mr. Florida did not get onto the MONUC flight this morning, so I'm in Gisenyi for another day. Gisenyi is a pretty little town by the lake, but there's nothing to do but sit around and watch tv and/or go out on the deck and, over the sounds of Reba covers of Crystal Gayle songs, listen to this very intense young British couple talk about literary theory and feminism (a conversation just unfortunately overheard, verbatim: Her: "You never read my essay on feminine representations in music." Him: "You never gave it to me." Her: "Yes, I did. I left it lying about for ages.").

I'm ready to get to the Congo.

But, that said, I guess it's interesting to see what scraps of American culture make their way to Africa. Digital satellite television has really changed the way things work here. It used to be that if you were lucky enough to have a TV in your hotel, you got the local channel and maybe something more interesting (eg, the BBC or CNN International). But now there's just everything. I watched Mean Girls on MNet this afternoon, and Gilmore Girls (episode one of season five, the one where she leaves for Europe with Emily) last night. And then, of all the stupid things to make me homesick, Hope Floats came on the other night. Such a bad movie, but it has an okay soundtrack (Whiskeytown, Gillian Welch, Lyle Lovett) and it's set in Smithville, which isn't too far from Austin. A girl I knew in college married the Smithville baseball coach.

Tonight is the beginning of the Olympics, but no one here will be watching, first, because it will be really late to fit with U.S. tv schedules, and second, because the all-important finals of the Africa Cup of Nations will be on and skiing is much less interesting than soccer. Egypt vs. Cote d'Ivoire, in Cairo. Woo-hoo.

Sorry to be so down today, but I clearly need something to do. I may go ahead and just cross into Congo by myself tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers.


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