11-08 -- Turnaround Tuesday

Rice water, this morning.  It's a porridge of some rice and a a lot of
water.  It's not as nasty as it sounds because Malagasy rice has some
taste and structure to it.  It's reddish, and has more husks than white
rice in the States.  It's not what my father calls brown rice.  His
brown rice, is, by far, the most horrible thing ever to be presented
to you on a plate.  Well, except for his spelt-flour pancakes.  Those
are worse.  He cooks other things which are very good.

So this rice gruel is edible, if not appetizing.  And offered with it
is something I don't try to the end -- it's a mix of condensed milk
and caramelized sugar.  It's amazing.  People put it in this rice
concoction to make it yummy.  Very yummy.  But honestly, I don't think
lots of condensed milk is what Dr. Olivier and Pat had in mind.

I still feel crappy.  I take the stairs up, again.  This is where I'd
like to say it gets easier.  Uh uh.  Not yet, anyhow.  My knee
doesn't hurt at the end, though.

For lunch I have half a loaf of French bread, purchased bagged at a
store, but still I crunch sandy matter in it showing that the wheat is
domestic, and dried in the open.  (Meaning, probably on the ground,
certainly around the ever-present red-dust clouds in the air.)

I also drink three quarters of a liter of water.

In the afternoon, I feel better.  Really better.

But we go, in the afternoon, to High-Tech City to buy a switch and 300
meters of Cat-5e cable.

Oh, man.

First, the name-brand switch they said they had at such and such a
price, which was approved and we have the money for, they don't
actually have.  We shop around and buy a cheaper, crappy switch.
It'll do for the traffic at SALFA, and it really is crap, but so's
everything else, including the ones claiming to be more professional.

Then, oh man, THEN we ask for 300 meters of Cat 5e.  We go upstairs to
the box, which has notes on it as to how much has already been
removed.  The note says that there are 310 meters left in the box.  We
want 300.  Fine.  Rivo and the store gopher measure out... 270 meters.
That's all there is.  They measure out in units of ten meters, and get
27 folds.  270 meters.  "No," the manager says, "there are 310 meters
in the box.  See the writing?"  Rivo shows how they have measured.
Again and again he counts out the 27 lengths.  He counts to 27 in
front of them something like six times.  He measures out the length of
the folded cable.  Ten meters.  "There are 310 meters in the box."

We ultimate give up and go to another vendor.

This second vendor is a little busy.  We wait half an hour in his
store, but he cannot get the time to go get the box of cable.

After an hour and a half trying to buy what would take four minutes at
Home Depot, we have to leave.  Some one else needs to use the car we
have been loaned for this trip.

Tonight I still can't see the palace through the smog.  Would that it
would be rain!  I ask Honorine.  She says it's supposed to rain
tomorrow.  And that it's supposed to rain today.  And yesterday.