Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tickets for Bintu Anyone?

Hello friends:

Well, Bintu and I are closing in on month one together in Memphis. We won't pretend that our coming together of cultures and worlds has been seamless -- as expected there has been a bump or two in the road. She has had homesickness off and on, good days and bad days at the First African Braiding Salon, a fruitless rain-soaked evening of trying for the first time to catch a bus ride home, a body that is used to African water and not Memphis water, that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when everything you eat has an alien taste to it.

Ah, but the good side: she has found lots of foods that she likes after eating for the first time. She loves the Sonic Burger No. 1, the Chinese buffet at New Hunan, chicken fried rice from Yum's, and Tom Graves' special filet mignon with super fluffy baked potato. She also thinks my hand-prepared chocolate shakes are pretty good. As mentioned earlier, she found the smoked fish she likes best, and the whole house greets me with the smell when she soaks it in water as per cooking instructions. She is looking forward to Thanksgiving and her first ever turkey dinner. I wish I had all that cajun cooking stuff to make a cajun fried turkey but alas I don't.

We have had so much to do these past weeks that we've only rarely gone out to socialize, but that is now changing fast. Thanks to Marty Priola, Bintu went to her first American party and loved the food (Marty is a great host and cook) and the company and conversation. The ladies at the party seemed fascinated by Bintu and made her feel very welcome with their conversation. She thought it was very funny when I went in the house to fetch her something and one lady demanded to know, conspiritorially, just how it was we met. No one came to our house for Halloween, so she sort of missed that, but I did take her to a neighborhood haunted house, which at one point caused her to scream bloody murder, much to her amusement later.

I did manage to take her to the zoo, which she loved. Remember, Bintu is a city girl and has never in her life seen lions, tigers, or elephants. At first she was VERY wary of the big cats until I assured her they would not be able to break through the security barrier. A big chimpanzee came over to the window and studied Bintu for some time. The gorilla was a favorite of hers, especially after a tiny little Asian girl, maybe two years old, stood on top of the railing and beat her chest and hollered like King Kong. We all cracked up over that one. The snakes, which she HAS seen in Africa, were the scariest things of all to her. Some of the really huge pythons nearly had her running out of the place.

I'm pausing at this point to ask my friends for some favors: Many of you have access to freebie tickets of one kind or another. At this moment Bintu and I are forced to watch our budget pretty closely, so any freebies you may run across would be appreciated. She would be interested in almost anything that she has not seen before, such as:

A football game, such as a U of M one at the stadium

A basketball game, at the FedEx forum either of the Grizzlies or U of M

other neat sporting events including wrestling

exhibitions of any kind, such as at the Dixon, Brooks, Agricenter, etc.

theater events

all kinds of music events

tickets to the movies (she hasn't been to one of our cinemas yet)

other things you can think of.

What I am saying is if you run across a couple of routine tickets that you don't plan to use or you have some extras, hey, we'd love to explore new things together.

Okay. That's it for now. Let us hear from you.



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