Skin, Ikea-Neurosis and a Wedding

Aside

At a wedding we walk after the decorated car taking the bride to her groom’s house, only moonlight, stars and women chattering in the night, a lot of things I don’t understand. I’m home in my skin. Me and Sarah both have to wee and ask one of the cousins if its alright to sneak out – it is. Only a man from the other family is bringing water now, so we will have to wait. And to drink first (omg omg omg). We share a bag of water.

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Then people emerge with large plates of food, we are mercifully excused. We wash our hands and squeeze deliciously oily rice into balls with our fingers, meat skewers and garlicky potatoes.

I wanna take photos of the fantastic hair-does and clothes people wear, but I’m already the odd white girl who doesn’t speak french. One of the cousins offer to find me a husband “Burkina is good or not?” “it is really good” of course, she nods, its settled then.

The whiteness is so weird, kids in the street enthusiastically call out to me “Nasaraaaa nasaraaaaaa… NASARAAAAAAA!!” (white person). Its official then: Im a freak! Im used to feeling different, now I wear it on my skin.

The rumors about the Ouagadougian traffic are highly overstated, it moves in the same way as a water current, fast, elegant and with a plurality of mini currents in harmonic chaos. Although when commuting during rush hour I do catch myself thinking about death a lot, still I’m not driving myself (yet) so I am allowed to close my eyes and just hang on tight.

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Two short flights of 5 hours is a small way, but none of the multiple Ikea-neurosises which were gripping at my thoughts in Copenhagen climbed on board. So I am far away. Far enough.

I feel I should explore more on my own, but lots of days during the week I do nothing – the laziness is not from Ouaga, its entirely my own, it comes from slowly being reabsorbed into my skin.

For a few days I keep myself awake asking if the decisions I made were the best ones. I do exploratory meditations which bring more questions than answers.

I start finding un-dealt-with emotions from the last year emerging, things which weren’t safe to feel close to the scene of the events. Definitely not safe to feel from inside the neurotic Ikea-land of my mind, a place where I’m eager to decorate my inside with standardized, assembly-manual-accompanied niceness.

The gentle, red dust is a reassuring setting for letting lose furious waves.

As they crash I find shiny grains of love hidden in the sand, even behind hatred shines outrageous warmth.

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Ouaga

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Arriving Monday morning at 5:30 we drive through the empty streets of Ouaga. My backpack is resting on the back of Sarah’s moto bumping me closer and closer up against her. My helmet hits her head a few times. We get onto the bridge over the lake, the sun is rising, the water reflecting a rosy pastel sky. I feel cushioned by the energy of this place.

I sleep 6 hours. We eat mountains of rice and gorgeously greasy sauce for lunch. I flee the puppy who has decided to eat my feet for lunch.

In the evening we go out for dinner, just as we leave the house the power shuts down. When you live somewhere power cuts can be annoying, but when you are on holiday they are magical. There is plenty of light, the moon is crescent. Stars over the dirt road, silhouettes of palm tree crowns. Voices and crickets. Fried plantains and chicken. Moto lights flashing by.

Tuesday Ouaga is warm, not sticky warm, just lazy warm… and dusty. My nose is clogged, there is a fine red film on the leaves in the yard. I scratch puppy’s tummy, she gets exited and pees. A little drop hits me on the cheek. Pink flowers playing with the sunlight.

I go out on my own, I’m not really sure when people are talking to me or not, but try to drop a “ça va” or two in the right directions. I pay five times the actual price for a bottle of milk, but don’t get lost on the way home.

Sarah hands me a helmet – it is dusty but it will keep you from dying! We go to her in-laws, I understand 20% of what is said but still manage to share in plenty of laughs and proudly produce three whole sentences on my own. Pure loveliness of people who actually want to communicate with you!

I so understand why people who come here stay….

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Challenges of living with a creative mind, or, when Rosana saves the day

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13.50 in my sister’s house in Odense

text for Rosana:

– Hey baby, am a bit late with my life:) will be there round 17.30 and then I just have two hours to pack the bag and hug you goodbye before going to the aiport:). see you darling!

Rosana:

– Cool, see you!

16.00 having a sandwhich at the train station in Odense,

16.20 checking my flight schedule on my phone

16.30 Text for Rosana:

– Rosana, I fucked up big time. my flight leaves at 18.40 and not 22.40 xDDDDD… am in the train from odense now and ill try to see if I can make it if I go directly to the airp. it shud work if we’re not delayed and I runxDDDD… I wont be able to pick up my backpack, dont know if I could ask you to bring it???? otherwise I will just buy clothes in Ouaga, f** that. I got my pasport. ooooohhh christ xD

16.34 text from Rosana:

– I will be there, what time, and anything else than the backpack you need?

text for Rosana:

thank you thank you thank you thank you, owe you humungously big time! just the bac pack and my banana shampoo if it fits.

17.45 train stops 200 meters from the airp. Mie repeats in isde own head “stress is my friend, stress helps me focus, stress is my friend, I’m going to make it” smiles at a kid and a lady with a thousand bags who also look in a hurry

17:50 train arrives in airp.

17:55 Mie finds total tranquil Rosana waving at check in. Mie checks in. Mie hugs. Mie thanks. Mie is flushed. Mie runs through security. Mie buys three bottles of rød aalborg requested by my hosts:)

18:32 Mie is extremely amused by self – decides to share.

TAK ROSANA !!!!

#Mie signing off from gate C30 @Kastrup airport, annnnd a deep breath xDDD hhhhHHhhhHhh…Image

Part 1: getting stuff out of the way

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Leaving can be a bit unnerving….

quitting my job, my apartment, having panick attacks about that, saying goodbyes, moving all you accumulated things around and stuffing them into way to small storage places, boxes, friend’s houses.. But it has also been getting to tell my dear ones how much I care, and to experience abundance of sweet people helping me out. total community bonding goodness with friends, family and even strangers…

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We unload my bed in my Rosana’s house where its going to spend the winter. I turn around towards the driver.

– so…  dankort?

– oh, I don’t have that… I can just drive you to an ATM, then we get to talk a bit more.

I crawl back into the truck, he starts telling me:

– I took this job because I wanted to become a substance abuse counselor. You have to pay it yourself and I really really hate banks, so I didn’t want to borrow the money. Banks they just trap you so you are always owing them. But it was a more interesting job than I thought it would be, you get to see so many people. One day you are moving a guy who is being evicted by the municipality, the next you are moving a million dkk painting for one of these rich guys up north. When I drive around I try to give room for as many people as possible, sometimes you have to be aggressive or you will be stuck the whole day, but generally I prefer to hold back and let others come before me. It is like you said, you can always do something good no matter what you are doing. Sometimes I get annoyed in the rush hour traffic, but then I know it’s because I have let them catch me, then I realize I just need to take a break and let go of that again…. so here we are, that’ll be 310 for the ride.

I give Jørn 400 kroner and he puts down my change on the seat. I push the coins back towards him.

– … a little tip for you.

– thank you! Then I am getting myself a big ice cream tonight!

I bask in the smile of a brilliant little boy inside the big strong grown man with lines of wear and tare on his face. This spirit is my brother if anybody is.