10/15/09: Wheelhouse campsite, Malawi
I could chew on ice cubes for days back home. I know that this is supposedly not good for your teeth, but neither is growing older and I don’t try to stop that. Here in Africa though, ice cubes have been a scarce luxury. In fact, I hadn’t had one in our first month of the tour. That all changed today.
Zhou, having become a huge fan of ice cold Coca Cola (I would call her Mean Zhou Green, but I don’t think she’d get that reference), ordered one at the bar this afternoon, only to find that it wasn’t all that cold. Rather than throw it into Lake Malawi, she instead did the unthinkable and asked for a glass of ice to pour it in.
Up until today, we had both been adamantly following everyone’s advice not to drink the water here. Unfortunately that also meant no ice cubes. So when Zhou ordered the glass of ice, I immediately thought our five weeks together had made her go crazy. Then I thought again. We’ve been eating unwashed fruit using barely washed utensils and completely unsanitary hands. The cookware and dishes wouldn’t score a 50 on those restaurant sanitation tests (and to put it in perspective KFC scored at least a 90). I personally have been bitten by more bugs than a cartoon carrot (groan). We’ve been dirtier than pigs in mud and I only shower once every three days to do anything about it. How bad could a few ice cubes possibly be?
Here it would make sense for me to say both Zhou and I are deathly sick, and that that was the worst decision we’ve made on the trip. But actually, I feel great! There are only two possible explanations: either the ice cubes came from bottled water, or the myth of bad water in non-American countries is a load of crap (and the result of drinking the water is not). Although I’m not ready to put the latter explanation to the test, today’s adventure did make me think of the Top Ten Things I Miss While Traveling:
10) Survivor (Living the show in real life does not make up for not watching it)
9) Air conditioning (There have been some oppressively hot nights in the tent)
8) Regularity (This may be too much information, but let’s just say my diet isn’t great on the road)
7) High Speed Internet (Even now that we’re supposedly used to it, slow connections are frustrating as can be)
6) Chili dogs (Too many dry, stale ham sandwiches)
5) Cool Runnings (Not a day goes by where there’s not a great time for a Cool Runnings quote)
4) Cold chocolate milk and cranberry juice (I really should have had chocolate milk at our wedding)
3) Competition (Everything in Africa happens at such a relaxed pace, when all I really want to do is beat someone at something!)
2) Football (Especially the fantasy variety, since the Browns I hear are terrible again this year.)
1) Exercise (As much as I hate working out when I’m doing it, I hate not doing it a lot lot more.)
Picture of the Day: This hole in the Wheelhouse bar floor is plenty big for a Scrabble tile to become fish food, but Zhou decided to drop her tile into a bar cooler instead, so we remain steady at 99 tiles.