Barry's African Adventure: October 2003 Archives
I started rehearsing with a band today. We played some kwasa kwasa music. They asked if I wanted to play at the weekend, but I declined. Maybe next weekend.
African misic is great fun, it is all about the beat. People don't want quiet, relaxing music. No, everyone wants music to dance to. So songs go on for a while, and don't change too much.
I only hope I can play it while drunk.
Far too close. These things are huge.
Note : Be careful when shopping, as the local supermarket stocks a rather strangely named product. Toss detergent.
In the classroom you expect various things. However, somthing which you have to get used to are the legions of bugs which descend each day. There are bloody millions of them.
So, there you are teaching, the class is working quietly, and before you know what is going on all hell breaks loose. A hornet/bee/wasp/whatever, which is the size of an old fifty pence piece, decides to arrive in the classroom. And worst of all, I am supposed to be calm and know what I'm doing, because I'm the teacher.
These create the most commotion, but for sheer scale of insect, some of the beetles have to be seen to be believed. On Monday, the class and I were walking back from the assembly hall. Suddenly, there was a great deal of shouting. I discovered the reason was a beetle that was a good two inches long. Almost of of the class were in pieces. You just can't plan for this kind of thing.
Play I some music, reggae music.....
I'm a tad disappointed that there isn't more of that sweet reggae music here in Tanzania. It seems to be that most people are now listening to R'n'B or rap. (Americans have more than just politics to answer for.) Local radio plays this or dodgy eighties music. I've heard some eighties songs that I'd rather not have remembered. They should stay in the past, or at least in record collections of people I don't know.
Turkey 0-0 England
Saturday really has to involve football. So as usual, I went to the local,Top Hill Bar, and got a good seat early. I got there at five thirty, and the football was due to kick off at eight. (We're two hours ahead of British time, and it was an evening kickoff) The pub was quiet when I arrived, and I chatted to some friends.
In fact, there was a power cut at the time, and it was nice to sit and chat for a while. The pub is where I learn most of my swahili, profane or otherwise. However, the power came back at seven, and the pub began to get busier. By eight there were a hundred people in the room.
Top Hill Bar has a small room with the bar in it,which is always too dark, and a bigger room to the side of this with a TV at one end. They set up the chairs in rows on a Saturday when the football is on, and bring more out. It's packed. But you have to get in quick or you will get one of the really uncomfortable metal numbers at the back. The front chairs are a few patio sets.
Most people in the pub were supporting England. Mainly because every week, everyone watches two live premiership games on the South African satellite channel. Although, Hassan was along with me, and a few others supporting Turkey. I always support whoever England are playing, and Hassan just doesn't like the way they play football. The populus were initially puzzled by my lack of support for England, but that was all cleared up when the Scotland result was announced. The game was punctuated by much shouting, and some choice swahili. Ultimately, the game was a draw and my 100 schilling(about 7p) bet was safe.
However, the best thing about the pub at the moment is that all the bar staff know me by now, so my beer is always cold. If you don't spcifically ask for a cold beer, you will get a warm one. (baridi - cold) Some things are important.
....And then over the weekend, about two hours drive from my house, I saw all of this crazy stuff.
Electricity can come and go. It is by no means a constant feature. I've got a gas stove in my house, so I'm covered. I can always make food. However, today was one of the inopportune power failures at school. Options pointed in one direction. We sang. David Bowie as it happens. "The sun machine is coming down, and we're going to have party.."
I really should get on with learning swahili. I've learnt some, but it is still a tad limited. I keep on having a different conversation with the person I'm talking to. Although, most of my conversations in swahili are in the pub....
The Scotland football game isn't on the TV. But, on most Saturdays, English first division football is. Thats harsh.
Life is too bloody noisy some days. There is no gentle arrival of sound as the surrounding fauna begins it's day. Nope, six a.m. and all hell breaks loose. Everything is either eating, shagging or just bloody showing off. I need to accept this and go to bed earlier.
At least I won't sleep in, but I might invest in some small rocks for throwing purposes, just to make myself feel better.
I may have returned to some semblance of normality today. However, my problems were only due to reasons which could, and have, affected me in many a place.
Yesterday I was in the grips of a quite involving hangover. It was of biblical epic proportions. (Charlton Heston should have starred in it.) Therefore, my day revolved around relaxing, watching football, drinking moderately and eating badly cooked fried food. It had all of the elements required to pull myself together. Well, that and nagging felling that I was always falling.....
Anyway, today is a usual Sunday. The religious punters are giving it plenty. (By that I mean shouting) And keeping my sunday morning doze brief. I've read the Sunday papers, and all that I can remember from those are the football scores, and thats only because I saw them yesterday. Oh, and I've made chips. (I needed junk food.)
As I continue my decline into sloth, I can at least shed some light on the reasons.
On Friday, I recieved my first pay cheque from school. Happy days. This, understandably, prompted an ill thought out, and impromptu drink.
....I definetly remember being in four nightclubs, (but I think two of those were the same one twice.) one of them even had a glitter ball. The music was African, or R and B. And I don't like R and B, but as the evening progresses I'll dance to any old rubbish.
This is not even taking into consideration the bars encountered earlier. I was keeping sensible and staying on the Kilimanjaro lager, which is pretty good. But sheer volume won in the end.
I think I spent a whole fifteen pounds, and that takes hard work.
By Monday morning, Mr Kennedy will be back at school. I feel good by then, and hopefully look a little better. I must be getting old if a hangover can last this long....