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"The · darkest · thing · about · Africa · has · always · been · our · ignorance · of · it"

Truth is stranger than fiction

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It's frightening how often my blog entries seem to need an introduction of "I swear, I am not making this up."

On that note, I swear I am not making this up:
I have one pair of tennis shoes that I brought to The Gambia with me two years ago.  As it turns out, PCVs here live in flip-flops, the $1 pair you can buy anywhere in the village, and just throw away when they're worn down.  So my tennis shoes have sat basically unused except when I was flying somewhere (England, home, Senegal) or when I was playing softball at WAIST in February.
Kombo is a little more tolerable temperature-wise than my site, though, so yesterday, I decided to don tennis shoes.
The following is a blow-by-blow account:
Me *talking to the other Beth, picks shoe up and gets a whiff of it*: Whoa!
Beth J: What?
Me *picks shoe up and smells it gingerly*
Beth J: What are you doing?
Me: It smells bad!
Beth J: So why are you smelling it?
Me: I'm trying to figure out what the deal is... *begins examining the shoe*
Beth J *jokes*: What, something died in there?
Me *pulls shoe open and looks inside*: A MOUSE!!! A MOUSE DIED IN THERE!  AAAA!  GROSS!
Beth J: Wait, you're serious?
Me: Yes!  It died in there and it's been decomposing since then!  EW!
I then had to extract said decomposing mouse from my shoe, and after seeing how many bits of decomposed mouse were left even after I'd pulled the body out, I realized two things:
a) There was no way I could get my shoe clean enough (not to mention deodorized enough) to wear again, without a washing machine, something I haven't used in two years except when traveling outside Gambia
b) I'm not sure even a machine could've saved that shoe.  Remember, the most recent time I can vouch for that shoe NOT having a dead mouse was two months ago!

This left me with no choice but to throw my tennis shoes away.  End result?  I'll be flying through freezing cold (to me) New York and Denver wearing flip-flops.
I'm going to freeze.
Current Mood:
worried wary of hidden hazards
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