29 September 2008

Pineapple Express

Fear not! Despite my lack of blogging, we are still alive and well in Bujumbura. I was away for a week for training for my job. Then I came back and I was very busy actually doing my job. Plus we don't have the internet at home so we're still sneaking time in at work. Things don't happen quickly here.

We are past the honeymoon phase. We still love it, but it's not as novel as it was 6 weeks ago. We moved beyond overall angst pretty quickly and we've settled on pinpointing some very annoying things about this place that we just have to learn to deal with.

Traffic. Mike has dubbed it Roadrageistan.

No milk. Just when I was getting used to the powdered stuff, guess who showed up on that original list of five countries that imported tainted dairy from China?

Our house might have termites. It definitely has ants and I am tired of finding them on the toothpaste. What can you possibly do about that?

On the plus side, we finally found a case of pineapple juice! You'd think that in a country that's practically made of pineapple, the juice would be easy to find. It's a hot item -- never on store shelves and expensive at restaurants. (Do they purposely keep it off the shelves to drive up prices? Perhaps. But infrastructure sucks here. It could be that the truck carrying the pineapples fell into a gigantic pothole and then all its cargo was stolen. Anything's likely.) The bottle depot finally had cases of the coveted pineapple juice and the Amstel Bock that Mike likes. We also learned that the secret to shopping is to do it on Sunday morning. The whole city is in church and the stores are empty.

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