Thursday, July 06, 2006

Waiting Games

It’s great how people here will take an interest in your safety and comfort, as a foreigner. Liberians are blown away that whi-man is waiting for a taxi with them, and they often just let me have their place in a cab, even if they’ve been waiting longer. Even market ladies twenty years my senior, tired from a day of work. So sweet! The other night I got stuck waiting almost an hour in the dark for a car, and people kept asking where I was going so that they could find me a ride.

This particular wait was pretty entertaining at times. On our side of the street there was a tiny kitten caked with dirt, clumsily chasing insects around on the grass, which is always good for a giggle. And across the street, in a row of closed-up Business Centers (wooden shacks that sell scratch cards and exchange money), a pack of dogs was harassing passersby every few minutes. The dogs weren’t biting, just launching out of the darkness across the lot and barking their heads off for no reason, scaring hell out of people and stealing back to wait for another victim. (Early stages of rabies? I got my shots.) The sleepy woman who “owned” the dogs was completely uninterested in controlling them; one victim was so angry he stood there for a few minutes yelling at her, waving his umbrella and threatening to call the police. (Begging a number of questions!) My fellow taxi-waiters quickly became the Peanut Gallery, hooting at him and hoping he’d leave so that the dogs could give us another show.


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