Progress Report (Sunday, 2010 August 22)

August 22, 2010

Some stuff to note after I got to my house:

  • My bleach leaked onto some clothes in the same suitcase. Kind of annoying, but only one shirt I really liked got ruined.

  • When I first got to my house, the bathroom smelled foul. I spent a bit of time last night scrubbing the toilet with bleach. It helped a little, but it’s still a little funky.

  • Went to Bafoussam yesterday to buy shit. A blanket, because it was cold, with a picture of a tiger, for 20,000 CFA. I think I overpaid on that one; similar blankets at the supermarché cost 13-16k. Bought my first bucket for 2k (which may have been a mistake too; the vendor swore it was a high quality, and I talked her down from 2.5k, but I think a fair price for a bucket is less than 1k). This bucket enabled me to take a much-needed bath. Bleached the water first — eight or ten drops in the bucket, to guard against schisto (as though the tumbo flies weren’t bad enough).

  • I bought a "plaque à gas", which is like a portable stovetop, but I don’t yet have the gas in order to use it. That means I can’t boil water, which means I’m drinking bottled for the moment. I’ve also been eating whatever stuff I don’t have to cook. I ate a lot of boiled peanuts from J-C’s family, and I’ve had a couple meals there. I also ate a banana sandwich (a bunch of the little bananas they have here cost me 100 CFA, and bread was 200 CFA).

    They have big heads of cabbage available at the other end of town, but I’m just not yet equipped to do anything with them. When I wandered past I saw some avocados which looked appealing, but the vendor warned me that they weren’t ripe. They tried to push the cabbage, but when I explained that I couldn’t yet cook them, they said "Take some passion fruit." I ended up in front of a bucket of what I thought were passion fruit, and bought one for 300 CFA. Turns out it’s a squash. I’ve been eating it raw anyhow, even the strings and the seeds, cutting it open with the serrated blade on my Leatherman and scraping the flesh with my teeth (trying to avoid the skin since I didn’t really wash it well). Beggars can’t be choosers.

  • So far I have spent this money on actual housewares:

Item Cost Notes
Stove 20000 May have overpaid by 5k?
Kettle 3000 Aluminum. He asked 5k. Not sure I’m actually going to use this to boil water.
Bucket 2000 "good quality" — talked down from 2.5k (a good price may be 800)
Clothes hangars 1300 From the supermarché — set of 10
Blanket 20000 Tiger design. Fair price: 15k? She asked 35k.
Water x3 1000 Split a "palette" with Lindsay
Chocolate 550 A thank you for J-C’s family
Cutting boards 5000 Set of 3; plastic
Broom 2800 Because dirt underfoot makes me crazy
Lock 1200 It goes on a chain that closes the front door

Total: 56850. Plus a couple thousand to bounce back and forth to Bafoussam, and a well-earned lunch. Still want to buy some chairs.. I’ve just been sitting on my air-mattress.

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