Share data? Why do that?

There is a group of Chinese men that lives in my apartment building*. They are loud and I get the impression there are a bunch of them crammed into one apartment (judging by the noise level and the number of shoes outside the door). They stare at me ambiguously when I happen to pass them coming in/out. However, often when I come home in the evening, the entire apartment building smells like a Chinese restaurant. Two thumbs up.

Continue reading Share data? Why do that?



Yesterday a recent graduate and I had an interesting conversation.

This guy is currently working in the IT department– not because it’s his specialty, but because he wanted a job until he got something in his field (political science). He’s also the best at getting tech fixed so we’ve all gotten his number and go to him with problems.

Continue reading Poverty

Small things

It’s really the little things. Small victories like getting your water deposit reimbursement by yourself (ok, so the guard had to go make copies of my passport, but at least I didn’t have to drag AN there?). The gecko that fell off the ceiling when you slammed the door. Someone who responds quickly to an email.  A taxi driver who doesn’t overcharge.

It is the best thing that there are now three of us who travel to the agent to pay rent.

The gentleman at the agency who has helped us all move into new apartments, Jacky, is amazing. The other couple needed a bill for rent; their building’s guardian had given them the wrong bill (probably either because he cannot read or because he has trouble telling white people apart*).  We got there during the lunch hour (12:30-2), with 15 minutes until 2. Normally, we’d be lucky if anyone came at 2:15; Jacky saw us at 10 of and took us right in to his office to fix the bill problem.

Let me repeat that: Ten minutes early.

He even asked me if I had finished the rest of the documents with the old apartment.

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“It” = “IT”

….that’s not my joke, but it’s appropriate.


UPDATE 9/21: My admin account isn’t ‘elevated’ enough to install programs or make changes, my internet is abnormally slow and buggy, and I can no longer connect my speakers to the computer.

*Throws hands up and walks out of the room*


I recently discovered that there is no way to videoconference from my work computer, particularly via Zoom. So I decided to install Skype as a temporary Band-Aid for the situation. To install programs, I need to go to IT for admin privileges.

It’s a bad idea to give IT your computer unless you REALLY have to, and today is a good example why.

Continue reading “It” = “IT”

A whole lot of nothing here.

Well, I still only have water a couple of hours and with very low pressure. I need some sort of extra pump, which somebody is required by law to provide me. But there’s laws and there’s laws.

But my toilet tank is filling up, and that makes all the difference in the world. Plus this apartment is rather a lot bigger and better than the other, and the view is the best.

There really isn’t much to say. It’s been a week of running around trying to resolve things that remain unresolved. Apartment things.

The lady at the water company complained loudly about how if I live here, I should speak French. Folks, how about not saying that to US immigrants? It’s not helpful, and it’s super painful because everyone’s making as much effort as they can and these things don’t happen overnight thank you. You can help by speaking a little slower, because French tutorials don’t have the Ivorian accent.

Continue reading A whole lot of nothing here.

Lebanese Food, Moving, etc.

We went into Abidjan for haircuts, shopping, and birthday lunch. It was particularly interesting.

We got off the bus at the typical Total station (gas station).
“Go over to the road,” LM said. “There’s a taxi that MM wants that looks clean.”
We approach the taxi as the driver sticks a little glass bottle with a green liquid up his nose. By the time I had gathered my thoughts enough to comment, we had negotiated the fare and were getting in. I figured that if they didn’t protest, then maybe it was medication?

But let’s face it: medication is rarely colored neon green.

Continue reading Lebanese Food, Moving, etc.