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Sunday, January 11, 2004

My dream last night: I was in south China, somewhere near Cuiheng Village, where I lived 1988-1989. The village looked different, but if you check that link about Cuiheng, it seems that my village is now a town.

Beth and Issa were in my dream. I don't know where Hideki was. But Edward, the computer technician at my company, was there. There was also a wealthy, older woman. I think she may be Margaret, my company's HR manager, but I am not sure. Nevertheless she lent us her Mercedes convertible in the dream.

Beth and I drove along the country roads in this convertible, with Issa on her lap. We then realized we were in an Islamic part of China that looked like the African savannah and had a population of people who looked like Turks.

The car stopped and we fretted as to how we would get to the nearest town. We got out, put on our backpacks. Beth carried the baby and I pushed the car. We couldn't leave Margaret's convertible in the wide open. It might disappear the next day.

We pushed our way into the nearest village. The houses were made of dirt, like Yemeni houses. Some of the women had scarves over their heads. The dark bearded men wore Western clothes. The open doorways had curtains over them. It was quite hot.

I went to a doorway and asked for shelter for the night. Beth was right beside me. The family scowled. They did come to the door to have a better look at Beth and me. Beth seemed a little worried, but I kept trying to talk to this family. The tall, scary partriarch of the family we disturbed walked out past me. I looked behind me. There was a crowd of snotty street urchins.

The convertible disappeared. In its place was a toy convertible, big enough to fit a Barbie doll and heavy enough to still be a burden. I tucked it under my arm - at least I could move faster now - and we followed the scary man to another house.

Regarding the size of Margaret's convertible, I kept thinking that it was magic that had shrunk it. I thought, if it can be shrunk, it can be enlarged. That's perhaps where Edward comes in. He's always curing my computer woes in the office. In my dream I must have regarded him as a voodoo master who could also unshrink cars.

But in the other house - which looked remarkably like the house in Harar where I chewed Qat with the crass women - our scary man talked to a woman.

I forgot what transpired next, but I do remember the part where Beth, Issa and I were back in the Chinese part of China. I was in a dark Romanian room, with all the rugs on the walls. Edward was, as usual, frowning at me. I dropped some of my things when I left in the convertible and Edward picked them up. Now I wanted to retrieve them.

"Edward, have you seen my red lipstick?"

Edward pulled a little toy car out of his backpack. I handed it back to him. "No, my red lipstick."

He pulled out a stick of lipstick.

"No, this is not my shade of red. The cap is rounded on my lipstick."

Then he pulled out my lipstick.

Other things happened in my dream, but dang it! I am already forgetting what happened in the part where we went to the Mongolian walled town.

PS Here is what a traditional Harar living room looks like. You can't see the cage where young mothers nurse their babies, nor can you see the cane used to beat them when their babies cry. Chills.

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