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Monday, 22 November 2004

B Movies

The Husband and I are thinking of opening accommodation in Lusaka, it really is the pits to try and find something that’s clean and where they’re not trying to rob you blind. We distracted ourselves by wandering through the two shopping malls, even venturing in to the cinema. I’d really like to meet the people responsible for (a) distributing books to African countries and (b) distributing films to same. Why do they get all the rubbish? Out of a fairly limited choice we elected to see The Village. What the? I thought Sixth Sense was great, even though I figured out the twist, but what was this?! The first appearance of ‘the monsters’ set off a fit of uncontrollable giggling on my part. Still, at least it was nice to be in air conditioning for a couple of hours. I picked up a new pair of trainers in the Converse AllStars style, but for a mere £3, and one of those bandana things for a quid, which retail back home for about a fiver. It almost made up for being ripped off at the guesthouse.

The coach back to Ndola wasn’t too bad, although I was only ever millimetres away from the sticky salivated-over biscuits of the baby in the seat next to me. No Nollywood either. We got to see – drumroll!- Anaconda. Anaconda is one of those films that I’ve seen bits of about ten times on tv, but never actually seen it from start to finish. So that part of my brain that’s been wondering for many years how this film began, how it finished etc, can finally rest. There was no sound to the film, but somehow this didn’t matter. And Jennifer Lopez really does have the biggest arse in the world. People have said she has a tiny waist. Er, no, just a really big bum.

Someone from the project met us in town. In fact there were two vehicles, and a lot of staff looking very shifty. The Husband wasn’t sure if he wanted to know the reason. Turns out they have ‘lent’ a very expensive piece of machinery to ‘some guy’. It was last seen over the border in Congo, so I guess we can kiss over ten thousand pounds worth of equipment goodbye. You really need a particular temperament to work somewhere like this and I’m not sure I have it. Is it unfair to expect people to know that it’s just really really dumb to ‘lend’ someone you don’t know some expensive machinery? Maybe in their culture they were just being neighbourly. Although I have had occasion to make the comparison between Chief and George Bush recently. Stopping deforestation is one of the major concerns of the project, but no amount of anecdotes, explanations, facts and figures make any difference. They just keep on chopping down trees and setting fire to them. The Husband tried to give an example of a neighbouring country, Namibia. They used to have trees, but the people chopped them all down and now it’s mostly desert and pretty impossible to farm. The Husband was trying to make the point that it would be better if Zambia didn’t do exactly the same thing. Chief replied ‘It is God’s will that different people live on different soils’. !!!!!!!!!!! You know, for the most part ( not everyone) religion is just used as an excuse for a complete abdication of responsibility. It’s nothing to bloody do with God if you yourself are willfully destroying your environment. I don’t believe in God, but if I did I am far from convinced it would be a white guy in a beard. I like to think that s/he would be more like a pot-smoking drag queen.

We got back home just after dark. I was looking forward to my bed. But horror of horrors, while we were away a spider had managed to get under the mosquito net and had spent the entire time weaving an icky sticky horribly web EVERYWHERE. And had littered the place with dead flies. G R O S S. I ripped all the bedclothes off and left them for Milly to deal with. Then I went for a pee and was frightened half to death by a posse of dogs who had decided to set up camp in the long drop shelter. Asking around we were told that the local Chief of Police had arrived one day, dumped three dogs out of his truck, and driven off again. Nice. I was all for shooting them, but apparently we have to keep this guy sweet because he might be able to get the equipment back from Congo. It’s worse than the Wild West. At least they had bars. I feel sorry for the dogs, but I know nothing about them. Now not only do I have to fear snakes when I go for a widdle, but also possibly mad, savage, rabid dogs. Also they are eating the food left out for Our Dog and being the sap that he is he just lets them away with it. Onwards and upwards as the MD of some awful place I used to work at used to say.