Friday, December 31, 2004

It's the last day of 2004

Didn't I do a "Year in Review" last year? Maybe I'll dig it up and fill it out again. But in the meatime...

This week saw the completion of _The Village of Waiting_ and _All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes._
_The Village of Waiting_ was written by George Packer, a former Peace Corps worker, of his time in the village of Lavie in Togo. The book takes place in the early 80s so much has changed with respect to the dictator in charge, Eyadema, but the frustrations of regular village living continue and to some degrees have worsened. Rare passages were hopeful, but overall the book is a look into very desperate situations. Not exactly a warm fuzzy.
_All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes_ was my first novel by Maya Angelou. Definitely an interesting view of black Africa and her time in Ghana in the 70s, through the eyes of a Black American. She's not exactly kind to white folks, white Americans or even black Americans of that time.
I'm looking for something else to read at the moment. I'm debating reading through the Harry Potter books again, or maybe something political. Whatever it is, I need to take a break from Africa. _Emma's War_ started interesting but the Sudanese civil war is just too much at the moment. I stopped _Glitter and Greed_ because it too takes place partially in Africa, and not in a good way. Something lighter is definitely called for and perhaps American politics will fit the bill.
But this post is not about books. It's about what happened on the way to, where else, the mall. This time we actually had a reason to go to the Shangri-La Plaza, but that too isn't the story. It all happened on the way to the mall.
The Scene: Driving down EDSA towards MegaMall, the Shangri-La comes up first. The road splits with the left lanes going under a crossing road. The right lanes go along the side, stop at the light and then continue on. Traffic is very light today.
The Incident: I approached the split, took the right lane and was immediately pulled over by the MMDA "traffic officer". I rolled down the window and he approached.
Me: Yes?
Him: Abrap Swarbing
Me: I'm sorry?
Him: Abrap Swarbing.
Me: *look at Ian* Abrap Swarbing?
Ian: I have no idea.
Him: *pointing down the road behind the car* Abrap Swarbing.
Me: I don't understand, Abrap Swarbing?
Him: *points again*
Me: I really don't know.
Him: Diplomat?
Me: Yes
Him: *waves his hand to go ahead*
I drive on and look at Ian.
Me: Call Anne.
Ian: She's out of town, I'll call Chris (Chris and Anne learned Tagalog at FSI)
Ian on the cell: Hi, Chris? We just got pulled over and were told something about Abrap Swarbing. Any idea what that means? Swarbing? ... Swerving? Wait, Abrupt Swerving? Oh! Yeah, that's probably what he meant! *he finishes converstaion*
Me: Abrupt Serving? I didn't abruptly swerve! Kids, did you feel me swerve?
Kids: No!
Me: Ian, I didn't swerve did I? I changed lanes, that's all, I even used my blinker! Abrupt Swerving!? There isn't even anyone on the road! No one to swerve around, no one got thrown to either side of the car, it was a smooth transition! I didn't abruptly swerve anywhere!
Continue conversation of disbelief. He just kept repeating the same two words without any sort of follow-up and it didn't make any sense.
Abrap Swarbing, my foot.

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