I usually write blogs in a piecemeal fashion and have several going at once. There is always some small segment that really doesn't belong with the rest of the post so gets stored for future use. I don’t know if some of the things I write will ever see the light of day, but I do know that some are just too funny to let die. Here is a collection of short stories from the past several months.
The Undead Lizard
I awoke to a rather comical situation today. I was lying in bed, enjoying the last few minutes of the snooze setting before it would be replaced with offensive ringing noises, when I hear a concerned voice from the bathroom. “There is a dead lizard in the tub.” This is not what I wanted to hear at six o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t the lizard that bothered me; it was more the tone Jes used to convey the information. From the short sentence I gathered three things. Number one; there was a dead lizard in the tub. Number, two, Jes was not happy about the lizard in the tub. And number three; Jes had no intention of dealing with it, except that is to wakeup her boyfriend and make him fix the, “situation.” Before I could begin carrying out my manly duty, I heard an exclamation from the bathroom, “IT’S NOT DEAD! IT’S NOT DEAD!” I never saw the lizard, but it could have ranged in size from one centimeter to half a meter. There is one, particularly large lizard, which has taken to sunning himself on the dirt patch in front of our door. The lizards are everywhere, and one cannot walk more than a few paces without seeing them scurry for cover. The lizards are quite prone to loosing their tails, so it is not uncommon to see one awkwardly running away, thrashing its butt excessively, in attempts to compensate for its missing latter half.
A Bicycle for Two
Austin (a friend of ours) was kind enough to lend Jes and I a bike during our time here. It was in slight disrepair, but after a short visit to the very capable bike mechanic down the road we were zooming around, gleefully covering distances unheard of on foot. We had a back carrier made (a robust seat over the back wheel) for the bike so that Jes and I could both ride. By this I mean that I pedal and Jes sits on the back. This is quite common in Malawi, and one frequently sees bike taxies shuttling people down the road. Most Azungus (white people) in Malawi own cars and are not often seen on bike taxis, and certainly not in the petal position. As such, Jes and I provide a good bit of comic relief to people as we pedal down the road. I have taken to saying, “you transport now, good price, good price,” as Jes approaches the bike.” I also frequently demand money upon arrival. Occasionally, Jes will play along and hand me 50 Kwacha (33 cents). This always evokes big laughs from people nearby.
Today in class I was giving a lecture on gas laws and noticed several male students staring at me intently while sitting spread eagled stroking their crotch. I thought this was a bit odd. It wasn’t until one student caught my eye and then quickly looked down that I glanced down to find my zipper hanging wide open. I laughed a little and quickly zipped up, at which point the crotch stroking boys let out loud sighs, as if to say, mission accomplished, while everyone else broken into tumultuous applause.
Probably the Best Story Ever
Jes and I frequent a rather dilapidated resort just down the road from MCV. Mulangeni, as it is called, was once a respected upscale establishment, but is now so rundown that Jes and I are commonly the only guests. Paint is peeling everywhere and crumbling cement buildings scatter the compound, looking more like forgotten bomb shelters than luxury accommodations. Still, the food is cheap, and a quiet respite is just what is needed after a busy week of teaching. The slogan for the resort is, “Simply the best of lake Malawi.” One can see the slogan plastered, in peeling paint, everywhere. Jes and I always found the presumptuous slogan a bit funny given the state of the resort; the management it seems, agreed. On our most recent escapade we found that the old slogan had been replace by a new one, “Probably the best of Lake Malawi.” I kid you not. Jes and I could not stop laughing.