Blague (Tuesday, 2011 August 16)

August 17, 2011
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I was at a "family reunion" the other day. Here are some more pictures of food.

This is what I ate for "breakfast", i.e. 10:30 when I first rolled up. It’s "legumes" and ignam, which they call "yam" but isn’t really like our yams. There’s also a bit of chicken here. This is your typically balanced Cameroonian meal: a starch, a sauce, and maybe a bit of "meat" (most commonly fish).

This is what I ate a little later, after their traditional ceremony. There wasn’t enough room for me to actually watch it so I can’t say much about that. It’s rice and chou, cabbage. There was also sauce tomate to go with the rice, which someone else had.

The many colors of Top. Top is a soda (jus) which is found prety much all over. If you’re going to find two flavors of jus in a bar, it’ll be Coca-Cola and Top Pamplemousse (grapefruit). Pamplemousse tastes kind of pamplemoussey, but not bitter like really bitter grapefruit. The bottle caps are different colors; they re-use the bottles, so the caps differentiate them. Top never "wins" — some beers do promotions where you can "win" a free beer (just check under the lid).

Tofu! My postmate is indirectly responsible for this. Now people all over village are making it.

Here are some Cameroonian jokes I heard at the family reunion. They were all considered very funny, and discussed in great detail after they were told.

Some international watchdog society is compiling a list of the nations with the most corruption. Cameroon is in first place, as it has been for a long while. Paul Biya finds the organization in Yaoundé, working on their analysis, and says "So, where’s Cameroon on this list?" "It’s first." "OK," he says, "how much should I give you to put us, say, third?"

("Because he doesn’t realize that he’s still making corruption!" they said to each other, knowingly.)

Paul Biya is visiting in France. Someone is opening some champagne. The cap shoots off, pop! Paul Biya says, "Where’s that cap? Give it to me… You guys don’t know this, but in Cameroon, EVERYTHING wins."

Paul Biya is visiting again, this time with a few other heads of state. Among others, he’s sitting next to the president of Gabon. It’s a very fancy dinner; the flatware is made of gold. He’s watching the president of Gabon, who is looking around, calculating, then suddenly taking one of the forks and putting it in his pocket. Paul Biya thinks this is a pretty good idea, and wants to grab one too, but someone always seems to be watching him. Suddenly he has an idea. "Africans do a lot of magic," he says. "Watch carefully! I take this fork and put it in my pocket, and suddenly I withdraw it from the pocket of my friend!"

("Because who’s going to check his pocket afterwards?" they said. "No one would dare.")

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