Category: Getting it off my chest

1

On privilege

Let me be very clear. What goes on in my uterus is none of your motherfucking business. I doesn’t matter whether I abort, whether I don’t abort, whether I’m looking forward to having a baby, whether I’m terrified about having a baby, whether I drink, whether I smoke, whether I eat shellfish, whether I eat deli meats, whether I sit with my legs crossed, whether I take a shot of...

0

Life changing events

Yesterday, I received and accepted an offer from the Foreign Service. When I took the FSOT last June, I never expected to pass (OK, I kind of did, but I was more stressed about what my coworkers would think if I didn’t pass than I was worried about actually becoming a Foreign Service Officer). After passing the written exam, I never expected to get past the QEP (OK, I kind...

0

On going out for drinks. Anywhere. Ever.

I love Happy Hour with expats and Peace Corps Volunteers. But every fucking Saturday, the check is a fucking hassle. Ridiculous! Dear everyone in the world who will have to share a check with someone sometime during your life (expats, volunteers, and muggles alike), Here are some rules for going out for drinks or food: You cannot pay just the price of your meal. You must leave a tip. If...

0

Hello champagne and the caviar set

Becoming a Foreign Service Officer (read: American diplomat) is a long and frustrating process. I’ve made it through the most difficult parts, and I’m now officially on the list of future hires. If all goes well in the Congress, I will definitely become an FSO … eventually. What’s this mean for People Online? Absolutely nothing. I haven’t gotten the call yet. Bertrand is running the company today, and he will...

1

On flooding in Benin, and how to help

This year has been a rough one for Benin, and it’s not about to get any easier. ICC, the LEPI, and now catastrophic flooding are combining to make this fall one of the hardest since I’ve been here. The whole country has been affected, and to say that one region has it worse than another is to fundamentally misunderstand how Benin’s economy and social fabric work. Two thirds of the...

0

Sneaker shopping in Cotonou

Shopping sneakers in Benin is not nearly as much fun as shopping for bras. It’s a hassle and I don’t like it at all. It sucks every single time I go out. The first go around took several weeks, and I ended up with sneakers that are too damn narrow for my very wide feet. My feet start hurting after 15 minutes and they don’t stop hurting for a day....

1

On how to rock eating food you’re afraid of

We’ve had a lot of visitors lately, new to Benin and/or to Africa, who are afraid of food poisoning. I’m going to be really honest here: if you leave Cotonou, have any middle class Beninese friends, eat street food, or do anything but eat at ritzy expat restaurants and prepare your own (vegetarian) food, you’re gonna get food poisoning eventually. Fish goes bad. Chicken sits out. Beef sits in the...

0

On Haiti. Full stop.

I haven’t written much lately because every time I sit down at my keyboard, I want to write about Haiti. I want to write about terrible injustice. And I want to write about the appalling difference I see between main stream media depictions and fresher, more local sources. I haven’t written about Haiti because, let’s face it. I’ve never been there. I’m not going anytime soon. I don’t even know...