Several funny things happened on my last trip to Yaounde.

I was at the market in Yaounde arguing prices with the local merchants when one of them asked where I’m from. I didn’t respond. He asked me if I’m Bamilike. I said yea, I’m in the West province, home of the Bamilike people. He said ‘no wonder you argue prices like that’* I took it as a compliment.

The typically 3 hour bus ride from Yaounde to Bangou took 6 hours instead. I told this to some people once I got to village with a tone of indignation, but they all acted like it is normal. And it is. We got stopped by gendarmes (they’re like police) 6 times to check IDs of the people riding the bus. They do this mostly for corruption purposes.

The guy next to me offered me some meat while we were stopped at a gendarme check point (In Cameroon, if you have food, you are expected to share with the person next to you). I asked him what it was, he said it was monkey. I ate it. I told him it tasted like rat; but the lady next to us said monkey doesn’t taste like rat. I said maybe it has to do with how they prepared it.

A bus vendor (sometimes at a stop, a vendor will get on the bus and try to sell their stuff to passengers, who don’t have a choice but to listen) got on the bus as had a whole list of items for sale. He had some lotion which will grow back hair after 4 days and give you energy, some clear liquid which he said will cure all teeth maladies and many illnesses and some ginseng product which will also cure many illnesses as well as cure sexual tiredness. When he pointed at me to see if I wanted some, I told him I don’t get tired.

* The Bamilike people are typically the most successful people of Cameroon. They come from the West province, where I’m posted, and most the rest of Cameroon resents them for their success.

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