Only in AfricaDecember 26, 2008 • By Kelly Glynn
I am beginning to think the show CHEERS is slightly based on my life. I mean Woody did come up with a fabulous song for me and everybody does indeed know my name at least at the Serena Inn on Zanzibar. I didn’t quite get it at first but after the friendly greeter, all the front desk folks, 3 people at the restaurant and the coffee guy all knew me by name I started to get a bit worried so I asked. Apparently, I’m quite the inquisitive one. The front desk people know me because I am always looking for a converter or a dinner reservation or a spa appointment. In my defense, the only reason the pool staff know me is my massage therapist went searching for me after I was 15 minutes late. Bathroom duty called and I couldn’t quite get back to my room and settled on the lobby bathroom. It seems she didn’t think to look for me there. I understand her angst in finding me as she would not get paid if I did not show but a bad dinner is a bad dinner.
It’s sort of a riot every time I turn around someone is saying, “JAMBO Kelly” to me. “You look SMART Kelly.” “Where are you going today Kelly?” My favorite is definitely, “JAMBO Kelly Hakuna Matata Kelly.” (Ha ha I just learned the Lion King speaks Swahili). It means no worries for those of you not brave enough to sit through the classic children’s movie.
I had a few additional laughs yesterday that I have provided you below:
Did I mention it’s hot here? I was in search for some nice cold water.
Me to the bartender: Do you have any cold water?
Bartender: Yes we do of course. What size?
Me: What size do you have?
Bartender: Small, medium and big liter
Me: I’ll have the small
Bartender: (without even hesitating) We don’t have small.
Me: Why did you ask me if you don’t have small. Oh forget about it just give the me the large I don’t want to have to come back here again.
After a hour and a half walk through the town, I must have forgotten where I was because….
I walk immediately to the restaurant to have breakfast. It did not even occur to me I was wearing running shorts because I had a long sleeve shirt on to avoid the sun. To me that is my uniform.
I was promptly seated by the waitstaff. When I walked over to the scrumptious mouth watering scrambled eggs and french toast I was excited to devour, a manager came up to me and took me aside and asked me to leave. It seems I was not in appropriate attire for women. I said I was sorry and thought that only applied to dinner (since my hotel book said that). I glimpsed around the room and saw there were several women in tank tops and pajama like outfits and then it dawned on me…..I WAS NOT WITH A MAN. Instead of fighting a losing battle, I retreated to my room showered and went back to breakfast donned in a full shirt and a skirt that covered my legs. When in Rome…
It’s very hard to keep in mind my western ways don’t work on this side of the planet. I cough it up to a proper learning experience and another example of how one must embrace the culture of others.