My Girlfriend???


Malta Man
Originally uploaded by p2son.

This is the Malta Man. He’s part of a billboard that stood outside my hotel window in Yaounde, Cameroon. Big smile, thumbs up. Gee I can use his advice right now.

You see, I somehow got a girlfriend in Cameroon, well actually two. Both are named Sabine, or at least one is.

Okay, short version:
I met Sabine on-line when I searched for people in Cameroon through a pen pal site. Initially we corresponded about her country, the food, climate, basic stuff.

Then as my arrival date loomed nearer, the e-mails changed in tone, became more longing with specific requests for cell phones and such.

I arrived in Cameroon and decided that I would not see Sabine until the end of the week and invite her to my show. I figured once she saw me prancing about as five different queer characters and heard me announce publicly that I am gay, that that might cool off the love she had for me.

She arrived and spoke no English. I speak minimal French. Even so, she saw the show and I assumed she understand that it would just not work.

Then she began to call me at my hotel, leave messages, show up at the front desk. I deftly avoided her until one morning, while shaving, she called from the front desk.

I washed my face, packed up my French verbs and stomped downstairs to settle this once and for all.
A woman in her late 50’s met me. I never saw her before in my life. She approached me and introduced herself as SABINE. Sabine?!?

Apparently the REAL Sabine. Turns out, this newer Sabine was the one who first communicated with me via e-mail with the help of her niece, Gladys. At some point Gladys stole Sabine’s identity and started writing to me directly in Sabine’s name.

It took lots of fancy footwork in French to figure out this scenario and I am still not certain I have the complete story. I flagrantly used my friend Priscilla as a covergirl to gry to get Sabine to back off (which pissed of both of my brides-to-be).. But as I left, the “Real” Sabine slipped me a provocative photograph of herself. Clearly she didn’t get it.

Yesterday I received the following e-mail, “Hi my darling , i’ m so happy to write you this letter. I was so happy to be with you in my country , and i hope that we will be together once again; I miss you so much , and i want to read you again . I want to know if you finished and darling i want to meet your pictures that you must sent me i will send you the picture of my son charles . big kiss , i wait your letter. tenderly , sabine” (yeah right, which Sabine? And will I have to adopt Charles?)

Clearly she doesn’t get it. Oh Malta Man, whatever shall I do???

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Ruthie on May 10, 2005 at 1:37 pm Reply

    It just goes to prove you never know who you’re talking to online doesn’t it.

    I could be Ruthie, a 25 year old PhD student on the Southcoast from England. Alternatively, I could be “Ruthie”, a 97 year old man with 22 toes and 3 fingers from Arkansas.

    You will never know 🙂

    But, er, good luck sorting that sticky situation out. How does a gay bloke manage to get two girlfriends? Ah, the scrapes we get ourselves into 😉

    Ruthie

  2. stuart on May 12, 2005 at 11:59 pm Reply

    hey peterson- nice to see that you still got it, stud. Some people can’t get any girlfriends and you have two? So…what’s the problem?

    But isn’t that the way it goes… some people just don’t get it. They are so sure of what they believe that they are closed to any other possibilities. Even when a gay man says I AM GAY… I’ll wait for you my darling… WAIT FOR WHAT?? UNTIL YOU BECOME A MAN??

    And I don’t know Cameroon well enough, but she may be trying to get out of the country. Americans can be seen as a meal ticket to people abroad. She may be smarter than we’re giving her credit for.

    Just some thoughts.

  3. Changeling on May 18, 2005 at 2:31 am Reply

    The “gay” and “lesbian” folks I have met in my travels in West and North Africa were people who had same sex experiences extra-maritally. It never would have occurred to them to live openly as gay men or women, or to set up house with a same sex partner. They were married people, with families, who considered their same sex exploits as something completely different from family life.

    One woman in Morocco, Samira, who I met through her husband and who spoke only Arabic (at the time my Arabic vocabulary probably consisted of 100 words) I had to fight off with a stick for a month, and her husband joked about it with me. He thought it was hysterical, and was clearly not threatened by it.

    I think it’s safe to say the Sabines’ version of “getting it” and your version of “getting it” just look very different because of your different cultural worlds. Do you think either of them might be interested in me? 😉

  4. Changeling on May 18, 2005 at 2:32 am Reply

    The “gay” and “lesbian” folks I have met in my travels in West and North Africa were people who had same sex experiences extra-maritally. It never would have occurred to them to live openly as gay men or women, or to set up house with a same sex partner. They were married people, with families, who considered their same sex exploits as something completely different from family life.

    One woman in Morocco, Samira, who I met through her husband and who spoke only Arabic (at the time my Arabic vocabulary probably consisted of 100 words) I had to fight off with a stick for a month, and her husband joked about it with me. He thought it was hysterical, and was clearly not threatened by it.

    I think it’s safe to say the Sabines’ version of “getting it” and your version of “getting it” just look very different because of your different cultural worlds. Do you think either of them might be interested in me? 😉

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