As I was passing through security at Harare International Airport (if you can still call it that) the young woman ahead of me was asked to open her bag for inspection. She replied that she’d like a female customs officer to attend to her because her bag contained “women’s things”. Which got me thinking about what she could possibly be embarrassed about. Surely we’ve moved on from being squeamish about tampons and bras? But perhaps she had something more exciting, like a sex toy.
Truth is I hate flying on my own. I need a hand to hold; going up, coming down and during turbulence. Otherwise I’m fine. There was a medical emergency on the plane I was on recently when I traveled between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. The guy in the seat across the aisle from me had a bad turn and had to be given some oxygen. I felt a bit bad because I’d just given him a dirty look because of the gusto with which he was eating his cheddar cheese roll. I can’t bear noisy eaters especially in confined spaces.
I finally ended up in a place called Kenton and spent some time by the sea which was all round fabulous. On one occasion I popped into the local bar and met Trevor a retired South African who gives tourists boat rides. I thought a safe subject for a bit of bar room small talk would be rugby but he got so enthusiastic and detailed in his descriptions of the world cup that my eyes started to glaze over. I moved swiftly on to something I could tolerate – the Twenty20 cricket. Zimbabwe had just won their game against Australia which everyone was celebrating. Like Catherine Makoni blogged, there were quite a few provocative placards scattered about Newlands Cricket Ground during the Zimbabwe/Australia game. What a pity the people filming the event were so skittish about giving us a good read of them. As soon as a placard commenting on the “Zimbabwe situation” appeared on screen the cameraman moved swiftly on to the safe subject of a group of children screaming into the camera.
I have to say that whilst Brendan Taylor was terrific, he needs a bit of a makeover. I wonder whether there’s a Queer Eye for the Wicketkeeper? Another player that I’m itching to get some scissors to is Dhoni who’s hair looks like it hasn’t been conditioned in 14 years.
But back to Trevor. When he asked where I was from, and I said Zimbabwe, he held his head in his hands with a pained expression on his face. And then he said, “You lot are in the dwang (shit)”. Whilst this is true, how I wish Zimbabwe isn’t seen as such a sad case. Or as Brenda said, the butt of jokes.
So I’m just back in Harare. Our plane got in quite late on Friday night. It was wonderful to come back home even with all the challenges we have to deal with. It was great to get a warm welcome from a comrade in arms and have her say, “hey, guess what’s in your deep freeze?” And when I said, a chicken? She said, well don’t get ahead of yourself, I got you a few wings.