Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fuck It. I'm Going Out.

One humid summer evening, after my third year at Iowa, I got talked into going out.  I was gross from the hot and sticky day, but I changed my shirt, put on some deodorant, and called it good enough. On my way walking downtown, I ran into someone I knew, and he told me, “You look like you said, ‘Fuck it; I’m going out.’”  I thanked him for the great confidence boost and went on my way.  I guess I appreciated the honesty.

A couple of years later, during a spring storm, the power went out.  Travis crept downstairs with a candle to find me, and took me up to his apartment.  When we went outside to see the storm, we realized that we were the only block around that didn’t have power (and there wasn't much of a storm to see).  Since the rest of town had power, that meant that downtown still had power.  We decided that it would probably be best if we just went downtown where there would be lights, so we got ready in the dark and played a couple of rounds of fuck the dealer and pyramid by candle light and went out.  We called it Blackout Friday. 

Here in Tanzania, every time we go out, it feels like a combination of these two nights:

First, I always feel like I said, “Fuck it; I’m going out.”  Sometimes, this is actually the case.  I never spend too much time getting ready, and the clothes I am wearing are rarely clean (and by clean, I mean I hand washed them, which I am terrible at, so they really aren’t that clean even when they are “clean”.  I try to pick clothes that don’t smell too bad though).  I don’t have anything too fancy to wear, so I am never really flossy flossy.  And the nicest things I wear are probably the clothes I borrow from Jenni.  But fuck it; I still go out.

Second, I am usually getting ready without power (and therefore no lights or hot water, and sometimes no running water), just like on Blackout Friday.  I think there has only been one night* when we had power while getting ready, and it actually didn’t come on until part way through our getting ready and eating.  Here is me trying to wash the Masai market dirt out of my hair before getting ready to go out for Jenni’s last Saturday night. 

Bucket Washing
Even though we had to wash our hair and legs out of a bucket, we all shined up like new pennies (or should I say Tanzania shillings?).  Look how safari-like we look

The Safari at Empire Bar- Sema Yes Rasta!

 And here is one of me helping Kelley wash her hair before that distaster of a night at Via Via where we met a creepy Barak Obama/Tiger Woods look a like, but also did some intense bonding.

Me and Kelley Washing Hair
Again, I would say we ended up looking pretty good.

The Crew Outside Via Via

It makes me smile to think that I regularly get ready for a night out in the dark, and the smile gets even bigger when I think about the fact that a bunch of other people are in the same boat.  Half of Arusha could be without power, but the club will still be poppin’.  The club might not even have power, and it will still be poppin'.  It seems weird to me now to think of getting ready and putting makeup on with lights on.

*This sounds like I go out all the time, but this is not the case.  I have only been out a few times; it isn’t like I am going out dancing and making an ass of myself at Masai Camp every night of the week.  And the one time the power came back on, we had already brought water in and washed our hair out of buckets because we were so dirty from being in town.