Africa, Destinations

Only in Africa

December 26, 2008 • By

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. 

Hakuna Matata