07 November 2007

day 7 :: wonders of the world

A few weeks ago, I woke up at 5:30 in the morning to visit the latrine. It was still absolutely dark outside, but I am brave now, so off I went. On my way, I noticed the glow of a large fire in the direction of the town. I stopped and looked at it for a few minutes and as I looked I started to worry that something serious was going on. I hoped that it wasn’t our only real store that was burning. I hoped no one had set a fire deliberately.

There was really nothing I could do except go to the latrine and come out and stare at the fire again.

After a few minutes of staring at the deep red glow, I smacked myself on the head and said, “Idiot! It’s the rising sun.”

I gave in and sprayed my bed with Flying Insect Spray last night. I had accidentally left the light on while I went to the mess to watch Untold Stories of the ER on Reality tv, and hundreds of little black bugs, attracted by the light, swarmed my room and fell under the light onto the bed. They fit through the mesh of the mosquito net. I sprayed to kill them and then set the fan on facing the bed to get the smell away before I slept.

The good thing is that at least I got to watch Untold Stories of the ER. And Phobias. And some Big Brother (finale this Sunday!). I’ve watched more television in the three months since I got to Southern Sudan than I have in the last three years. There’s not really much else to do on nights and weekends. Also, when I was culture-stressing, it was so nice and familiar.

I don’t know what people did before the National Geographic channel, really. How else would you learn about Megastructures? Animals? There was a great panda episode recently.

Our favorite show on the National Geographic channel, though, is Seconds from Disaster. This sounds like a show that should tell you how a disaster was barely averted. It’s not. It’s a show that tells you why a disaster happened – in the seconds leading up to the disaster – get it? Yes, it’s a misleading name. It’s a bit shocking the first time you watch, because you are expecting a disaster averted, and instead you get a terrible disaster. There are a lot of plane crashes on it. Mostly that’s good, because at the end they tell you how the problem has been fixed and no more planes will crash because of it. Unfortunately, there is a wiring problem in the Boeing 747 that they have not been able to completely fix. 747s, particularly the ones that are more than 25 years old, can still blow up in mid-air because of a short in the wiring that runs through their center fuel tank.

This isn’t very reassuring, because I’m flying on a 747 from Nairobi to Amsterdam next week. Do you think the pilots will think I’m neurotic if I demand to talk to them and ask them when was the last time their wiring through the center fuel tank was checked for wear and tear? Also what year it was made?

1 comment:

Monday's Child said...

Thank you so much... I spat water out laughing TWICE, reading this post.. first at "Idiot it's the sun rising" and then at the misleading name of Seconds from Disaster... my boss has now cottoned to the fact that I may not be reading project proposals :)

Are you leaving for good next week... and by "good" I mean until next time... ??