Sunday, March 29, 2009

Taxi Cab Confessions: Bethel

I'm stuck in Bethel for Sunday. I'm not really in the mood to do the weekend update.

I'm sorry if you were looking forward to it. I offer you a smattering of disturbing true Bethel stories instead.

While watching the rather disappointing Sudanese Dancers at the Camai Native Arts and Dance Festival a horrific yet true event took place. The tale I am about to tell is not fictional, rather a sick sick reality.

Brian, Jamey, Wendy, Erin and I were watching the dance festival, trying to understand and get into the Sudanese dancers, which appeared to be brightly dressed Sudanese people simply playing sudanese music over the speakers and dancing randomly however they wished.

All of a sudden Brian got up and grabbed his stuff and walked away purposefully and speedily. Erin turned to me in disbelief.

"A little kid just threw up on Brian." She said.

Then she informed the parents that in fact their little 2 or 3 year old was still projectile vomitting all over the farking place. Then she chased after Brian. In the void where they were sitting was a pile of vomit. The smell wafted up immediately. We scattered as if a napalm bomb had gone off. All of our coats were hanging up on the railing so I went by them and watched them and what unfolded. The parents grabbed their little tyke, wiped off his mouth (he barely got any on him because the force of the blast spread the fluid everywhere but on him) and put his winter clothes on and walked away with out cleaning it up.

The area had a grapish smell which I can only interpret as neglectful parenting and over soda popping the little fella. I waited, panicking slightly for what seemed like 15 minutes for my friends to return. One person after another tried to come and sit in what they thought was a lucky open seat in the crowded gymnasium. For a while the people around tried to warn people of their fate if they came near. But as more and more people kept stepping in it and sitting in it, it slowly just washed away in the fibers of local Bethelonians.

Finally Erin returned and informed me that the unfortunate event caused Brian to go home. I can't say that I would have been different. I am already slightly uncomfortable sitting in a giant gym full of people who have travelled far and wide from their villages bringing in their very special breeds of colds and winter flus to breath into the moist and heated gym air, snaughty coughing unattended children wiping their slobbery hands all over everything. If it were me that, as Brian described later as, "All of a sudden my back felt hot" I would have flipped the frig out.

It was such a tramatic event that all we could really do was continue to talk about it and how ridiculously unbelievable it was. The entire affair mixed with the completely mediocre Sudanese experience, cut our drive and interest in the Camai a little short.

Then today.

In Bethel, we don't get our own cabs, you share with people who happen to pop up along your route to where ever you are going? Sometimes these characters can be rather interesting.

Today I rode in a cab today with a piss drunk native man who waited till he got into the cab to let out his last breath of cigarette smoke. He exhibited many of the signs of a meth amphetimine addict and was very talkitive without seemingly making any sense. He wanted to know where I was going and who lived there.

"Friends man, you don't know em." I said and did my best to ignore him.

He smelled like strong cleaning chemicals and cat piss and had Coors Light Tallboys poking out of his disgusting gooey Carhardt Jacket. He kept picking at his scabby hands.

Up front the whole time the Serbian cab driver and a white local service employee of an establishment that will remain nameless (pregnant and smoking to boot) talked about whether or not she should get an abortion from her accidental pregnancy to her manager.

"Vat are you goingk to do veeth it" asked the Serbian Cabby.

"I don't believe in abortion, I was the one laying there, I'll take care of the thing," said the girl nonchalantly.

It was pretty uncomfortable all together. Despite this very depressing little scene I went to AC (the mega grocery store) and bout some yarn and other crafty goods.

Then I walked home to Sadie, Angie and Erins.

What has unfolded before your today were two sobering tales of this little gem called Bethel.

I'm tired, soar from sleeping on floors and couches, and wishing I was home. But I am watching the Count of Monte Cristo with the gals and about to order some food. Which is good indeed. Thanks for a great weekend ladies!


Corinna said...

Holy christ, that story is barftastically 1. gross and then 1. depressing. Smoking pregnant people really bum me out.

b.r. said...

Bless her heart, Erin tried to talk me into staying. Folks, when you get puked on (and I hope you all have the chance) go take a shower and put on clean clothes stat.

Erin said...

I still feel bad that your dance experience was cut short. I'm glad that I got to share in such a bonding experience with such awesome people. I will never forget Camai 2009.

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