Sunday, June 28, 2009

Porte de Namur Street Party

For the past 2 days there has been a massive street party, right outside my window. Streets blocked off, the smell of grilling meat, masses of people, mostly Congolese, swirling through the neighborhood. It's been quite something.

There have been bad parts, deafening music, mostly African (I assume West African), one song blending into another for hours and hours. Fighting our way through the crowds, Miguel and I lost each other on a number of occasions. Having to keep a close eye on ALL belongings, moreso than usual. Also, the fish they grill smells like the salt fish in the stores around here, like fish that's been dead for a long time...

There have been interesting/funny parts. Looking at knockoff bags (sorry, I will not buy a Gussaci bag, no matter how "authentic" you claim it is), interesting outfits and some fun music. Just tonight they played "Beat It" and as we watched out the window, a guy on the street started dancing, the actual choreography, MJ's choreography! A crowd gathered almost immediately, and began clapping and cheering, and then, offering money. All of these people, waving 5, 10, 20 euro bills at him, not unlike one would do at a strip club (not like I know about that from experience...) and he took the money! Apparently it's a sign of appreciation.

I have to say, there is MAJOR respect for famous African Americans here. Obama is practically idolized, and it seems there is some serious appreciation for Michael Jackson here. So maybe, just maybe, we're not so different after all.

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