Thursday, January 15, 2009


Today is John Chilembwe Day, which is a National holiday, so Marley and I are at home this morning drinking coffee and putting puzzles together. We have been in the Boersma's house for one week now, and are really enjoying campus-life. I'm able to walk to my classes and come home to work or rest in between them.
Our Christmas break was incredible! We stayed home and enjoyed life in Malawi--we spent most of our time in the kitchen and in front of our computer watching movies from the market. We found the holy grail of market movies--a store across the bridge which sells each disc for 180 kwacha (before we found this store, we paid five to six hundred kwacha for each). Each disc is unpredictable, unreliable, ever-surprising in what it promises and in what it actually contains. Sometimes the disc has a theme, such as the one below. The "versus" theme is actually a rather common one for these market discs; it is also one of my favorites. This disc contains a bunch of Kate Winslet (or "Winsle") movies, and a bunch of Jennifer Lopez movies. While Jennifer does look ready for the fight, Kate seem uninterested and too sweet to fight. Oh well, let the battle begin!

And just in case you were curious, Jennifer Lopez loses big time.

Below you will find classic Market-movie-disc phraseology:




I wonder if the Chinese here (or there) have conversations like this:

Non-English Speaking Person 1: Hey, do you want to watch a movie tonight?
Non-English Speaking Person 2: Sure, but no more chick-flicks or funny surface penfans, I'm in the mood for a new irritable blockbuster.
Non-English Speaking Person 1: Yeah, that's fine, maybe something from Tom Cruise's portfdio?
Non-English Speaking Person 2: Whatever.

It's funny surface penfan. What does that even mean? We find ourselves scratching our head, trying to penetrate the translations. That assumes these are translations. It's funny...on the's funny when...penfans do surface...which happens in these kinds of movies? Heck if I know. Each disc jacket and menu is like a little Rosetta Stone composed and arranged by people who dimly understand the English language, and could care less.

Well, this is life in Malawi. It's rich and strange and funny and difficult to be away from home. We miss all of you.


Liz T. said...

hahahaha! that's hilarious. Loved the posters/yall's sense of humor :)

JenniferB said...

i just have to say those penfan's can be mighty dangerous. do be careful. hahahahahahah. love this post! my husband would have a hay day with as much as he loves movies.