More purchases (Tuesday, 2010 August 24)

August 24, 2010

Went shopping again today. Made a friend in the car, named Kamgo Boris — he just started talking to me, I guess he was friends with some previous volunteers — and he looks halfway between Akeem, my old co-worker, and Jelani, friend from high school/college. He volunteered to help me haggle and go shopping, so although I intended to just get one thing, we spent most of the afternoon bouncing around Bafoussam and it was dark by the time I finally got home with my newly-acquired plunder.

Today we bought: the bottle of gas for the stove (bottle 30,000; gas 6,000); the tubing for it (one and a half meters: 3,150); some rags for washing stuff (2700 at the supermarket); some detergent (900?); some flatware (1800 for 12 forks, 12 spoons, and 6 table knives — which I think is a little expensive, weren’t they being sold by the piece at 50 in Bafia?); some eating plates/bowls (1800 for 6); two pots (7500? 8000?); another bucket (1500). In theory I’ve spent about 115,000 of my 200,000 CFA "settling-in" allowance already, but in practice I only have let’s say 64,000 left, which means I’ve spent closer to 136,000. I can account for about a half of the difference by going over my petty-cash transactions. Not sure what that means except that I’m a shitty accountant.

At the supermarche I saw a couple piles of five-CFA and ten-CFA pieces. In Cameroon, the smallest useful coin is 25 CFA, so these are like nega-cash. Cameroonians tend to make jewelry out of them. I guess a supermarket acquires a certain amount of them so exchanged a 50-CFA piece for some. Picture forthcoming.

With my first bucket, I became equipped to take showers, which was a requirement at the time. With a second bucket I am now capable of doing laundry, which is fast becoming a requirement. The pants I wore today are completely muddy, and they’re gonna require some heavy lifting. We’ll see if I get the motivation sometime.

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