Upper Volta

The Reconnecting With The People bus tour continues...

“Driver, why have we stopped?”

“I’m having trouble locating Upper Volta on the map.”

“Find Lower Volta, then head north.”

“It’s not called Upper Volta anymore. They renamed it Burkina Faso.”

“They did? Burkina Faso sounds like some sort of seaweed-tofu pie you might get at one of those horrible vegetarian restaurants. I narrowly escaped eating at a vegetarian restaurant once. It had a deceptive façade, so I walked right in. Waiting to be seated, though, I managed to sense something was wrong. Then it hit me - I’m in one of those horrible vegetarian restaurants, and I got out. I’ve had a lot of narrow escapes. Remind me to tell you about them some time.”

“I will.”

“Maybe we should forget about Upper Volta.”

“Burkina Faso.”

“Both of them.”

“As you wish.


  1. I live/work with a lot of Indians and heard from them there was a difference between southern and northern indian food, with the latter being less common. I knew that southern indian food tended to be vegetarian (even if southern indians themselves don't), so when picking out a southern place to try a particular food I picked the one on yelp that wasn't tagged as "vegetarian/vegan". When I finally get up there I see on the window "Vegetarian". Fortunately, this thing was mostly starch.

    A surprising number of non-vegetarian indian places serve beef, but I can't recall seeing any that serve pork.

  2. I'm opening a raw food vegan restaurant called Here Have A Turnip.

    It never occurred to me until you mentioned it that they don't serve pork.

  3. You should create a lot of mystique around the chef at your raw food vegan restaurant. Say he won't appear in public because he abhors the fame his talents bring but loves his work, and is also so jealous of his craft that he won't let anyone else observe him in action.

    Marvin Harris in "Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches" had some theories for why it made sense for the ancient hebrews to abhor pork (while New Guineans love it) and for indians to refuse to eat beef, but a lot of his theories stretched credibility. I suppose indians might have been cowed into avoiding pork due to muslim rule, but the shoe is on the other hand now and they ham to their hindu hearts' content.

  4. I think the pork the New Guineans liked so much was actually what they called "long pig", which, like Soylent Green, is...

  5. To my mind - admittedly never the best judge of anything - Burkina Faso sounds like one of those Hollywood starlets of mysterious ethnicity cast as the romantic interest in a spy movie with George Clooney, but who then disappear forever from the cinematic world after the movie fails.

  6. It does. Üpper Volta would be the name of the demented, monocle wearing super-baddy whose plot to take over the world Clooney and Faso's characters must thwart.

  7. "If this is Upper Volta, what must Lower Volta be like?"


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