Saturday I went to the Carnival at Irinstoa’s school, which basically involved all the little kids dressing up in costumes and then performing several songs and dances for the families. My brother went as Spiderman, which turned out to be a popular costume as there were a total of nine Spidermen. I discovered that my bold brother at home turns into a meek little mouse at school, along with his whole class apparently. Their class was the only section of students that didn’t sing and dance the entire time. All the teachers kept coming over and moving their arms about, encouraging them to dance. Alas, no such luck. But it was probably one of the cutest things I have seen since being here. I have a great video of the whole school singing and dancing the If You’re Happy and You Know It song, in three versions: English, French and Malagasy. Unfortunately, the internet is in no way capable of loading a video, pictures take long enough as it is.
I spent all of Sunday in town doing homework and lazing about on the beach (yes, I can do those simultaneously). Before I knew it however, I had 30 minutes to get from the beach to my bus stop in town…so Cam and I rushed to get there on time, hurrying especially quickly because neither of us had credit on our phones to call a cab and we both live outside of the town. Lucky me, I still managed to miss the bus by several minutes. We stopped by the hotel we frequent for Internet access and borrowed a phone to call Cam’s father, who has a car. He assured up that he was on his way and that he wouldn’t mind dropping me off. Around 7:45pm Cam’s dad shows up in his large grey van and there must have been 8 drunken Malagasy men in the back, but they saved us two seats so it wasn’t an issue (seat belts don’t exist here unless you’re traveling in QMM buses). We pulled out into the road, and when I say into the road, I don’t mean casually into one lane, but into the center ‘lane’, i.e. weaving back and forth across the two lanes so that nobody else really had room to drive on the road. It quickly became apparent that Cam’s dad was Schwasty Faced when he turned almost completely around, while driving, to start a conversation with us. He proceeded to fist bump us and say “Hallelujah” several times before looking at the road again. The next 15 minutes went something like this: drive, look behind and chat, swerve suddenly to avoid something or someone, chat some more, slam the breaks, look at the road, look behind and chat, casually slip into the conversation that somebody slammed a key into your head and that you got stitches this afternoon, keep driving. So. After an altercation at a bar he frequents at 11:30 am, Cam’s father decided to drive around town with his “security”, i.e. all the neighborhood men, and then self prescribe the only known remedy for being keyed: Three Horses Beer. Along the way, it become slightly apparent that we were not in fact, going to turn left onto my road, but continue straight ahead to the same bar as mentioned previously. Cam and I were issued beers from Papa and then chatted with by several of the men. We also were slightly worried because his father kept saying something along the lines of “it’s the night of revenge” and then “tomorrow’s the night for revenge”. So it wasn’t totally clear to us whether we needed to have brought our pitchforks for that night, or wait another day…needless to say, there was tension and lots of testosterone in the air. Which may explain why the next thing we knew, Cam and I were being nodded at and talked about amongst all the men. They looked knowingly at us and smiled really big. Then Cam’s father made our statements of “Evelyn’s my friend” and “Cam’s a nice guy” mean “LET’S SLEEP TOGETHER”. So. I was cordially invited back to Cam’s house, i.e. Cam asks “Can we take Evelyn home?” father says, “NOOO, we’re going home”. So. I met Cam’s mother and had a completely awkward dinner that included Cam’s 14-year-old brother smiling knowingly at me, and then his father shooing us into Cam’s bedroom. Why didn’t I call a taxi or insist on going home? probably because my phone was dead and another car ride with the security squad and Cam’s dad would end up with the van upside-down in a ditch. It was safer just to crash the night at Cam’s and accept the awkwardness and hilarity of the situation. So, Cam and I spent a cozy night together romantically huddled under his bug net watching beetles crawl all over it. If you want an awkward fake ‘walk of shame’, try walking 15 minutes down a muddy dirt road and then asking your other friend’s Mom for a ride into town with her daughter, then showing up at school in the same clothes as Sunday and none of the appropriate school things. Needless to say, I will probably remember this for the rest of my life.