Saturday, January 06, 2007

Route 49


Well, Leigh has started writing about Africa again at last. There is a limit to what I can read about the humdrum life of sex in the city, Portland style!!! Leigh is right, Bullawayo is probably the most beautiful town in the world to live in. Ruth and I lived there for three years on and off. Savoring the delights of such places as Mary's for breakfast where the most perfect full English would be served on delightful red gingham table cloths by waitresses who were well past their retirement age. Then there was Sisters situated on the top floor of a disused giant department store. The food at Sisters was without doubt the most amazing find in Africa!!!!! And could compete with many restaurants in London. Where they got their produce from is still a mystery to me. Most importantly the Sisters themselves were delectable, especially when wearing little vests while cooking in the summer sun. Good memories.

We lived with a terrible Rhodesion family to begin with who were the epitome of what was wrong with colonialism by whites in a country inhabited by the most amiable Africans. The father had trained their African Grey parrots to mimic the front gate bell situated 100 yards down the drive. The result was their constant delight of watching the staff run down the path all day to open the gate to no one and chucking the pool boy in the pool at the deep end to see if he had learnt to swim yet! They nicknamed him BOB. Their daughter whose name I have thankfully forgotten was the bitch from hell who ran the local internet cafe in the house as a bit of part time work (no one would employ her). The mother spent the whole day watching The Dukes of Hazard on satellite television.

Then we moved to our perfect house in the avenues just above Bullawayo Gardens. The landlady had been married a few times to very rich guys who had provided her with the house and lifestyle she had become accustomed to. I would wake in the morning to Ruth's amusement and great the Gardner in my dressing gown with "Morning Derek" and inspect the white Jaguar I had been given to drive by the Landlady because I was such a nice young man.

We had a liver shaped pool that one day filled with huge hail stones and giant yellow palm tree leaves giving the impression of a very large Gin and Tonic. Unfortunately the kitchen boy who had worked in the house with her for nearly 20 years was caught by Ruth stealing a very large amount of money from Ruth's purse. The result was the sack and a rather awkward situation for a while. Our maid was Doo Doo
who we had found via the staff at the last house. She was a gem and couldn't do enough for us at any time. For nearly a year she would bring us tea in bed at 7.30am and curtsey, until Joanna was born. Then she would come in, take Joanna and disappear the African women loved a girl. When we told Derek that Ruth had given birth to a girl, he looked crestfallen and said "Never mind boss, better luck next time!!!" Don't you love it? He used to ask me "what are you having boss, a boy or a girl?" I would say "I don't give a shit as long as it's white" Only in Africa would you get the wails of laughter from an African for a comment like that.

Africa, we love it.

1 comment:

ExAfrica said...

You left out the part about Doo Doo bringing the tea tray so early each day to Stuart in all his morning glory - starkers. Poor thing, no wonder they called her Doo Doo.