Friday, 12 June 2009

Living in a Sauna

My pores must be open just about as wide as they can manage. I am dripping all over the place, on the keyboard, on my lap. I have resorted to using a proper mouse instead of the touchpad, because it doesn't work when it's wet!

But I am losing weight, as I always do here. If I lose much more around the middle, I will have to buy new trousers, or a smaller belt.

I popped into the village proper at about midday (what do they say about mad dogs and Englishmen? Oh yes) on a motorbike taxi, a good way to stay cool.

As we went down the main street, a lot of people called out, "Jambo, Mr David!"

I didn't know that I had made such an impression on the only previous occasion I had been here.

Business done, I wandered up the street and was accosted by someone who knew my name and looked vaguely familiar. Oh yes, he was the owner of the Curio Shop. I had wanted to look at his goods and now was a good time.

In fact, he owns three shops, a sandal makers, a carvers and paintings (oil on canvas))

Now I have had this idea for a while, to export crafts from Kenya to Europe and the USA. I even have a website set up for Kisii soapstone, but wanted something else.

This man has it. And he is willing to open up his market to the wide world, or morespecifially, the World Wide Web. So, after a tour, we agreed that I should return with my camera and do my thing.

Mind you, he isn't cheap, by Kenyan curio standards, but his stuff is first-class, and of course, if he gets bulk orders he will offer wholesale prices.

Business done, I wandered back towards the house, passing the supermarket where I popped in to get provisions. I am well-known here and people are very friendly and helpful.

Next door is a little coffee shop, so I thought I would treat myself to a Latté. These are to dream about, creamy with loads of froth, chocolate on top, accommpanied by a little chocolate bar and a glass of water.

As I reached the road again, I expected the usual flotilla of motorbike taxis and tuk-tuks - nothing!

I was just about resigned to start walking when a lone motorbike came into view. Now, I don't know how to tell the difference between a motorbike taxi and a private vehicle, so I nodded towards him and he slammed on the brakes. It wa a motorbike taxi.

50/- got me home. That's the cheapest I have been charged yet.

But, by the time I got to the house, I was dripping wet, my hat, an old felt wide-brimmed affair, was sodden and I needed a drink.

Luckily, I had made up a glass of orange squash and put it in the freezer, and forgot it. It just slipped down my throat like a Tusker lager - beautiful.

So, I have had my daily quota of sun. I am determined to go back a lot darker than when I came, but without peeling, blistering, burning or fainting!

Update - just a little note, when approached by a plethora of taxi drivers, tuk-tuks and the like, all wanting to take me wherever I want to go, but I rathe walk, I now use the line, "My feet is my only carriage ..."

To a man, they ask, "You like Bob Marley?"

Respect, Man. Respect.


Tamaku said...

Happy belated birthday, David!

Dad Mzungu said...

Thanks - I am trying to forget them, but people keep reminding me!