Wilkommen aus another sweaty blog post from the blistering depths of Khartoum. Be prepared for more banging on about showing my parents around the city, and bitter tales of attempting to teach when your university has, once again, triple-booked your classroom. Eurgh.
So - On Tuesday, my parents and I upped and left Jebra for the swanky middle-class neighbourhood El Teif, in order to stay with my Welsh Aunt's Sudanese Boss's Mother (who you may recall from Week 4 - "Mostly Eating With My Hands") and her family. Though not before my parents had Anglicised my house a bit first and got to know Jefferson Rabbit a little better:
After a swift waft around my university so everyone could see where I worked, we returned to the luxury and prime-napping-location of my Welsh Aunt's Sudanese Boss's Mother's house. Thank goodness.
Having no visitors to show around, the next week was a lot less busy, especially since my university continued to triple-book my classes. However, I managed to not ignore English teaching entirely by sitting in on one of The Tedious Englishman's notorious ladies classes. And what lovely ladies they were. In the evening, we evened out the social gender balance at Gad by watching lots of football with lots of men. Sort of sums up Sudan really.
Thursday took on a very American theme. I had some time to kill at Afra Mall before meeting up with those Lovely American Girls, so went for a wander. I was expecting lots of traditional clothes, as you'll see on the left there. However, I cannot say I was expecting to find 'Mein Kampf' proudly on display in the front of the bookstore....
The next day continued to be BLOODY STRANGE. It began when I peered outside of our front door, to find a secret gardener I had no idea about well...gardening, in our front garden bit. I love being told in advance that people have come to work at my house. I then saw a man put a coin in his ear and keep it there for the whole bus ride. I thought the football match we were all going to later would be pretty standard.
The Tedious Englishman was busy sorting out tickets and things with a friend, so when a guy walked by offering to paint faces in the Hilal colours for 5SDG, I was all over it. I thought it would be small and subtle, take 2 minutes, and not attract a crowd that had to be dispersed by police officers. I was wrong. When we finally got into the stadium, it was less a case of finding a seat, and more a case of battling our way through crowds of people clapping us.... for being white? When we finally did find a place, we continued to be constantly photographed/talked at etc. etc., to the point that we were eventually led off to where a group of other khawajas were sitting. All a bit/extremely awkward.
Things seem to quieten down and become a little more normal when the game actually started. But then fire started happening, as it does sometimes in Khartoum, and someone shone a laser in the goalie's face. Lovely. And then a bloody massive sandstorm got going, swirling rubbish all over the pitch and completely destroying visibility. If that wasn't enough, part of the stadium then fell in on the crowd, so ambulances were buzzing and whirring all over the pitch and people were running around like mad. The lights went out. The lights came back on. THE GAME RE-STARTED. It was bizarre, and continued to be so after we left to discuss recent events over mediocre burgers.