Though I have had a (admittedly) tough time coming back to the United States, I still feel incredibly fortunate to be back.
I live in an "up-and-coming" part of town in Washington D.C. Which basically means that it's a ghetto and there are lots of drug dealers around. But they're nice and they wave hello every morning. And at least they are not Congolese military people.
I have a temporary job but 1/2 the people in my office are contracting too. The electricity is very reliable and I have a cubicle four times the size of the one I left in Kinshasa.
I can walk almost everywhere and no one will bug me. I even forgot my wallet at a counter once and someone ran after me! To give me my wallet back! And didn't ask for a ransom! And no money was missing! Ah. It's nice to be free.
But then again I guess I'm not that free. Because I have to pay my grad school loans, and my electricity bill, my monthly rent, have to get presents for people's birthdays, Valentine's day and any other crappy made-up Holidays.
But wait, I digress. I feel incredibly lucky because I can finally keep in touch with my friends. I've come back to good friends in Washington D.C and the rest of the United States (you know who you are y'all). Plus, PLUS, friends from abroad have transited through my apartment and stayed at my house. They have even slept in my bed which, in my opinion, truly takes a lot of dedication!
Anyways, friends, thanks for being around and being good to me.
At this point, you're probably wondering what the hell the title of the post means. Well, while I was having this thought of being incredibly lucky in 2007 at the same time, my roomate was enjoying some excellent french chocolates called Papillotes. These chocolates are traditional in my hometown of Lyon. They are generally consumed around the Christmas and New Year season. Because the food just isn't fattening enough for the Holiday.
Anyways, you'll be surprised to find out that the Chinese don't have a monopoly on fortunes that come in food. Oh no they don't! When one unraps the shiny papillote paper, one is rewarded by: (1) one sweet chocolate, (2) one cracker that snaps when pulled, and (3) a proverb/saying/fortune. This is true! I swear!
This is the one she got: "Les paresseux ont toujours envie de faire quelque chose-Vauvenargues". Which is loosely translated as: "the lazy ones are always on the verge of doing something"...
I couldn't help but think that the fortune was actually directed at me. I mean, my roomate doesn't even understand French! Is God trying to speak to me through Papillotes?
Thanks for reading through this long post. You are truly admirable.