Did you just say, “Car Door is a Hey Blinkin’ Song?”

Sudannese map BIGLast week my old roommate was back in town. We had some fun last time around, but round two was pretty damn great. We partied like we were back in Vegas. And not just at the Winning Post. The Carnivore. Westlands. Downtown.

I was almost glad to see the bastard leave so could get back to my routine of working my ass off and actually getting a full night’s sleep. One night, on the way to a fine meal at a local Japanese restaurant we were full-on officially stopped by police. We were not wearing our seatbelts. They said it’d be 5000 shilling fine (~$70) and if we didn’t have the money, well we’d just have to spend the night in jail.

I’d been to jail before a number of times for youthful indescretions (READ: stupidity), but something about the thought of spending a night in a jail in Nairobi sounded like a fate worse than sitting through your average high school musical performance. In otherwords, downright tortuous. Still, I didn’t believe the cop. He’d asked the cab driver to get out of the car, but he never asked the mzungus. So I knew he was bluffing. But for how much?

I kept telling him how I didn’t know about the laws, that I was sorry. My roommate and I had been quietly discussing how much cash we had between us, when the cab driver returned. He told us the officer with the shiny badge and the threatening rifle wanted 300 shillings. Maybe $4.50 on a good day. We tried to contain our laughter as we handed over 400 shillings, but more at the thousands we were about to pony up. We escaped a few dollars poorer and a little late to the reservation.

The next night we ended up boozing and arguing the veracity of the war in Iraq until 4 AM.

– – – –

But that was last week.

This week, I go to Sudan.

Now calm down a minute. I am well aware of the crimes against humanity and the genocide and all that junk. I’ve seen the Constant Gardener, the Interpreter, and In the Army Now.

This is a map of Sudan with Darfur highlighted:

My trip to Sudan

I am going to the blue dots: Rumbek, Juba, and Loki. Loki is in Kenya, so it doesn’t even count. The red bit, that’s Darfur. I look at it kind of like this:

One could go to New Hampshire, which is 100% New England, but never see a hippie. Not one. Even though it’s right next to Vermont, the waft of hemp and patchouli is halted by an unseen barrier. I’m spending my time in the south, not the north, so no hippies. No revolutionaries either, for that matter. In fact there’s talk of Southern Sudan breaking free and becoming its own nation. Not like it’s gonna happen next week, but still.
Going to Sudan

Juba is considered the capital of of the south. It’s not like there’s any domed government buldings, but it has a bank and an airport. Rumbek, I don’t know much about, but I’ll let you know in a couple weeks.

In the States, all we see and hear of Sudan is slaughter and war and misery and suffering and political unrest. But we all know a nation can easily be generalized. Not all American are from Texas. Take it further, and not everyone from Texas is an heavy-browed bible beater with bad grammar.

Just the majority.

So I implore you to look deeper at Darfur. Well, scratch that. For the purpose of this blog post, take a more superficial look. What I see when I look at Darfur is not what the media has made us believe, but instead, I see a bong made from Abraham Lincoln’s head.


Darfur Abe Lincoln

If you can’t look at that and say, the ’emancipation inhilation,’ at least say, ‘Italy with a tumor.’

If neither, just remember that southern Sudan is pretty much a party at Chuck E. Cheese compared to the north.

Abraham LincolnAm I being insensitive? Perhaps. But if I’m providing better living conditions to Unicef and USaid workers, while you’re watching your weekly episodes of ‘Lost,’ on your cable TV, aren’t I entitled? I know both Jack and Locke would agree with me.

On a side note, thanks to iTunes and my generous girlfriend.

If any of you are still worried, Feel free to email my mom nice pictures of me. That way if I do get taken hostage and decapitated—or even worse: killed!—at least they’ll have better photos than me dancing with a beer bong.

I will be flying into Juba from Loki. From Juba I will fly to Rumbek. The kicker is that I’ll be going to Loki from Nairobi in a truck.

I’ll let you know how that goes.


10 Responses to Did you just say, “Car Door is a Hey Blinkin’ Song?”

  1. Jen says:

    So your first overland in Africa experience is going to be Nairobi to Loki in a truck…wow, that’s like jumping into the deep end without a life jacket dude. I always liked to say that overland travel in Kenya is like being in a blender…your blender will be going for 12-14 hours minimum is my guess. Take ibuprofen with you for the aches and pains afterwards…maybe something to cover your face because the north is seriously dusty. On the plus side, you get to see about 500 miles worth of the Great Rift Valley!

    If you stop in Eldoret, watch your wallet (that’s the only place I ever actually got pick-pocketed)
    Don’t forget to make a bathroom stop in Kitale as they probably won’t stop between Kitale and Loki (for any parental readers’ sake I won’t say why)…ooh and pick up some sweet bananas in Kitale (Ndizi tamu: these look like baby bananas and they’re the best fruit ever…I miss them)

    I want to hear all about Loki and the Sudan when you make it back!
    Safari njema! (Bon Voyage)

  2. Now listen, that point about no hippies in New Hampshire is just an out and out lie…I am a hippie and often go to meet my hippie friends there…;-)

  3. Molly says:

    You still owe me a plate of nacho’s from your Canadian portion of “youthful indiscretions.” xoxo

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