09 May 2012

who are you?

Sometimes I just don't even recognize myself. Who are you? 

I mean, last summer I bought zip-off hiking pants. Zip-off hiking pants! The bane of my Africa years!

And today? Today I bought spandex running pants. Spandex. SPANDEX. Words do not even begin to convey.

I bought them for an entirely legitimate reason: we are back to ground survival in fighting class, and I need something that will stay in place so that my knees don't get torn up.


I intend to wear these things in (semi)public, yo. Possibly even public, if I have to stop at the store afterwards. As in, I do not have shorts that I intend to wear over them. 

Ovaries: I have them. 


My house lies partway up a very steep hill, right on the corner of a very steep road that goes up the hill and a flat road that goes around the hill. The steep road dead-ends into the flat road with nary a stop nor yield sign in sight.

I generally deal with this corner by slowing down but not stopping as I come up onto the flat road. If I have to stop for a passing car, I have to actually back down the hill about 200 feet because I drive a stick and, emergency brake or no, there is no possible way to start again on that steepness of hill without burning out the clutch. Trust me, I have tried. So have my friends who drive manual transmissions.

As I came home after fighting class tonight, I saw a motorcycle on its side right at the steepest of the steep parts of the hill, right at the lip before the steep road meets the flat one. There was an older man on his cell phone next to it, explaining where he'd dropped the bike. 

He was right in the middle of the road, so I drove around him and parked in my garage and then went back. The bike was a blue Harley-Davidson, lying with its seat downhill.

Another neighbor arrived just at the same time, and the three of us lifted the bike up past the horizontal  to the vertical. The neighbor and I held it up (one word: heavy) while the rider fidgeted to get it into neutral, and then we pushed it up onto the level.

There had been a round yellow light cover under my feet as we picked the bike up. The rider thanked us and started the engine, and I spotted the little yellow disk, rolled a ways down the hill. I chased it down, picked it up, and fitted it to the taillight. Just as the bike started to move, I gave it a sharp hit with my palm, and it snapped right in, undamaged.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have no clue who you are, but I thank you for being so cool. And funny. And insightful. I'm going to Rwanda in a few days, and I found your blog by googling "packing list." Now, I've been on here forever! I chuckled when I read your post on Arusha being cold. I was there a few years ago and thought the same thing :) So, I admire your independence. And it's nice to read something that's not so patronizing about Africa for a change. Keep up the good work.