Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bombastic babble

The road to tomorrow.- La route du lendemain.-

I must be on the edge of something, something BIG, just imagine MOI, the King of  Losers, feeling this way, may be, I will come up with a cure for the addicted Facebook's Farmville app addicts; YES, I am ready, never been so ready in my life, Lord, am I ready. I even started writing a collection of short stories titled: The summer of our dreams, (Summer 2009), YES, the wheels of time keep on inexorably turning, and I do feel so old, the years have somehow passed filled with the tug of SHOULD, and the pull of WOULD, la vie continue, (life goes on), of course, there are so many balls in the air, and so many different areas of my life that require discipline, it makes me tired just to think about it.

Early in life, I had expected to be a world traveler, an investigative reporter, a restaurateur, a stand-up comedian, a best selling author, and an international lover. Life unfolded, and those dreams faded until last summer (2009), when mid-life desperation set in, and I promised myself to reflect on my own life (the man in the mirror), where am I going?, and coming? aaaah the frailties, the lapses, the mistakes, the lost opportunities, the peccadilloes, and suddenly, I realised that I do not have all the time in the world like when I was 20 years old, I still love beauty, whether it is in nature, literature, women, or art, still love naughty, if not risque double entendres, witty repartees, enjoy flirting, cherish beautiful souls, gentle, and kind hearts, I love music,
Konpa, Zenglen Always is quintessential in my life, but here in Afrika, I am discovering new sounds (Bongo Flava/Afro Pop), and various Afrikan artists.

Notate bene: For some obscure reason, I have always thought that the plural of peccadillo is: peccadilli.

The son also rises.-

Old age has NOT been too humane, and sympathetic to Ole G, my son, all but twelve (12) years old, beats me at everything these days: word games, card games, board games, puzzles, running, jogging, video games, he is also the editor in chief of this here blog, you know the one with the red marker, the one who double checks my grammar, and painfully shakes his head whenever I misspell one (1) word, or two (2), if not ten (10) words, the one who does not comprehend, my ever lasting use of double negatives in an English sentence, according to him, I have never been known to use a word, that might send a reader to the dictionary. My adored, beloved Prince, Mr. Junior editor, is a bit too whimsical, and credulous, to know, that vye chòdyè, fè bon bouyon, (vieux pots, bonne soupe/ old pots, make delicious soup).

Note: Did I just misspell: MISSPELL ?

These happy days are yours and mine.-

I have learned to count my blessings, I no longer cha-cha my chances, and have come to actualise how valuable I AM as a human being, (nothing more, nothing less), and how much I have going for me, my Colgate mazora (toothless) smile has returned, the sun broke out, the birds are tweeting, once again, I am hearing the harmony, and the melody, what a symphony! I do take pride, in the fact that my actual age, is lower than my IQ score (intelligence quotient), and finally, I am able to move forward to the life that God intended for me, with grace, strength, courage, confidence, and all that jazzy Konpa! Just let me sing unending songs:

♫♫ My heart is bursting Lord
To tell of all You've done ♪♪
Of how You've changed my life, ♫♪ and wiped away the past ♪♫
Oh I wanna shout it out ♪♪
♪♪♫ From every roof top sing ♫♪
For now I know that God is for me not against me ♪♫♪♪...

Only one good: Knowledge, only one evil: Ignorance.-

You know that ole cliche: Ignorance is bliss, I just do not get it, (cretinism is de rigueur in my life), I will get one (1), or two (2) things, every millennium or so, and then I go back to darkness, total complete stupidity, blatant ignorance, and since I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance, an old crony had to explain to me, that the aforementioned truism is biblical, she quoted the epistle of the Thessalonians (4:13), or Corinthians something, anyways according to  Madame la Catholique, it means: someone/anyone who is unaware of what is happening in his/her environment or milieu, will be forgiven by the Almighty, and cannot possibly be held responsible for his/her actions, furthermore she added: the Good Lord protects, and blesses the innocent, the idiots & the morons. I know, I am blessed because of the latter two (2), Lord, thank you, for my countless blessings...

Let satire be my theme song.-

Contained within this blog, are various, and most likely fortuitous thoughts or inklings that may prove to regale. I like to laugh at myself, and I hope you do too. However, I also hope that you are encouraged to think hard, and think well, (faites travailler vos méninges). May my life purpose extend to this blog, it can be hard to keep your sense of humour in these strenuous times, but it pays to laugh each day, NOT laughing can have negative consequences on your mental health, and do remember, to mock those who take themselves too seriously. There is no controlling the unrolling of your fate, my friends, who knows what is written in the magic book, the start of something, the heart of something...Must be SOMETHING BIG!

Mots et maux de l'Afrique.-

Let us start with the language barrier that I seem to encounter more often than not. Tanzania's 2 official languages are Kiswahili, and English, about 70% of the people speak fluent English, but all Tanzanians speak Kiswahili, I can usually navigate around the language barrier in my international circle of friends, but the minute I hit a local bar/resto, or soko (at the outdoor market), I am completely lost, there is a strong British influence in Tanzania, the so-called "King's English". Cookies are biscuits; gasoline is petrol; french fries are chips; the hood of a car is a bonnet; the trunk of a car is the boot; as an aside, they drink warm beer, and warmer sodas in Tanzania, one has to ask/if not beg for baridi bia/soda (cold beer/soda), otherwise, we are talking boiling hot Coca Cola, and 90 degrees F Heineken. I do need a dictionary just to order a beer, five (5) plus months living in this country, and counting, I still do not know the difference between a stubbie, pot, schooner, long neck or jug love, Say what?

Looking smart, does not mean that one is cultured, or intelligent, it simply means that one is elegant, impeccably dressed, BMW's, Mercedes', Porsches' are smart cars, not because of technology or engineering, but because they are expensive, and look good, and please do not ask for a "pitcher of beer", otherwise, the bartender or waiter may think that you are asking for a "picture" of the beer bottle.

Slogan du jour.-

Just the other day, I noticed a dala dala (tap-tap, public transportation minivan) with the following slogan, artistically painted on the back window: I short the Sheriff, of course the rascal in me had to ask the driver: Did you short-change the Sheriff?, the malcontent riposted: No, I am a huge fan of Bob Marley, I short the Sheriff, is my favourite Marley's song, and that was the end of my enquiry.

Affaires Politiques.- Koze Politik.- Political Affairs.-

At my best, I have never aimed or claimed to be anything more than a cretin who happens to be interested in politics, by blogging about les affaires politiques, I am just trying to spark a bit of debate in this little corner of the web. Politics is not, and should not be just about political parties, and personalities, it is NOT about meta narratives, and manifestos. It is about values, ethics, and issues, and the battle for control over our own lives. Throughout history, the vast majority of people do not, and have never adhered to a single political philosophy. We hold values, and we care deeply about issues.

Reformist, and rebel without a cause.- San Manman

I have been reproached of being a reformist, also have been denounced as a revolutionary, btw, I have been called a few other names that I cannot possibly divulge here, after all this is a family oriented blog, for now, let us just answer to the preceding charges. I am indeed both (reformist & revolutionary), first, and foremost, I assert, and asseverate, in the democratic process, and struggle. Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least, I am a reformist, because I do not want dechoukaj (koupe tèt, boule kay/burn baby, burn), and I do not believe in bouyi vide (rushing things). Revolution, and the democratic struggle go hand in hand, revolution is not a moniker for violence. I want a revolutionary change in Ayitian society, in the way we think, operate, officiate, act, react, behave, and the way we manage, negotiate, and serve. A revolution of the mind, of the "Ayitian being", I am a revolutionary because of what I want to see in Ayitian society, and because of the changes I want to see in Ayitian politics, and politicians. So, I am a revolutionary, but I am not going to start stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, to coin a cliche, we need to win hearts, and minds, and please do pardon my naivete, but it is incongruous, to keep on ripping the dateless, and perdurable suspects: Minustah, the US government, the CIA, the French government, Aristide, Lavalas, Préval, or the NGO's.

Sans respecter ni son sang, ni sa gloire.-

The current political situation in Ayiti, is not completely hopeless or lifeless, five (5) years of Préval's ineptitude, the post J-12 wretchedness, the Facebook induced Wyclef's depression, the cholera epidemic, and hurricane Toma, did not bring us to Dante's 9th (ninth) circle of Hell, we have certainly reached the 7th (seventh) circle: Violence against self, violence against neighbours, violence against God, Although, I have always felt that any Ayitians who decide to run for president, should automatically, be disqualified from ever doing so, however, there is a new exhilarating voice rising on the Ayitian political horizon: MICHEL JOSEPH MARTELLY, it would be a gaffe, if not a colossal erratum, to underestimate his popularity, or to belittle his persona, HE is a fiercely intelligent man, the latest straw to stir the drink, he has grabbed the bull by the horns, by running the most well organised Presidential campaign in Ayitian history, this is a movement, a joyful, and hearty crusade, but I cerebrate that, Mr. Martelly, is still not aware of his own strength, however this is the start of something, something BIG.

Pardon the unpardonable.-

During this electoral epoch, Ayiti's so called media, and punditry remain moribund, and the bright lights illuminate brightly on the so-called pundits/journalists. Although there are some talented journalists, and other online independent contributors, and bloggers out there, "the institution" itself is stuck in a hopeless, self-serving, tenured cul-de-sac, and is failing in its job to properly inform, educate, discuss, debate, and entertain.

Martelly is being asked questions that are totally in apropos to the way he will run the country if elected. Rather than ask what is he actually planning for the tent city dwellers, jobs, education, and the many woes of Ayitian society, he was asked about his past behaviour, imagine how the debate could be shaped if instead of questions about his onstage persona, we had questions about health care, imagine if instead of questions about mini-skirts, and tanga bikinis, we had questions about decentralisation, the restavek issues, pedophilia, women's rights...we are dumbing it down, do the Ayitian journalists really think that, we are more interested in Martelly's past moral hazards, than the way he will run the country if elected?

*Restavek*: Slave child in Ayiti (minor/non aged); from French: Rester avec, esclave mineur.

Mes amis, de votre galère, un forçat vient de se sauver.-

For decades if not centuries, the narratives, the memes, the discussions of our political, and social life are/were written in stone, and blood, we have, I fear, confused power with greatness, we have somehow learned to accept the daily violence, the mediocrity, the partisan voye monte, tripotay, zen nan shoublak, controversies of Ayitian political life, and everyday life, as a course of conduct, in lieu of bona fide, honorable, civil discussions. Ayitian politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, hatred, and schizophrenia, show business for devious, and treacherous people, our media is catering to those who vote on personalities, and family's surnames, the same voices, and there are only about a few of them, continue to define what is important or useful, or worthy of discussion, and the few organs of the mediocre, unprofessional, and uninformed media, keep churning, half-baked infos, bias opinions, and other juicy tidbits. The absurdity of Ayitian journalists can at times be astounding, in the Ayitian media universe, even a loser like MOI can be accredited as a reporter.

Note: Voye monte: yellow journalism; tripotay: gossips; zen nan shoublak: tattletale/rumormonger.

Histrionic pleas to the Ayitian media, and Ayitian voters.-

My plea to the media: Most if not all, of the articles/essays/interviews that I have read, listened to, have left me disconcerted, and perplexed, please do ask some ad rem questions about policies, and stop treating this election, like a campaign for the King of kanaval, it is after all, our country at stake, ten (10) damn million lives to spare.

Préval cannot prevail.-

Ardent plea to the Ayitian voters: with hope, and virtue, it is time again, to VOTE, smoke and mirrors, once again, it is somewhat ironic that the election which seems to be getting a lot of International coverage is one which the majority of voters think is unfair, and rigged by the Préval's government, as to barely justify being called an election at all. None the less, on 28 November, I would like to see the people go out, and vote en masse, remembering the enmity of the Préval's government, and bringing them down, Préval cannot prevail! In my lifetime, I would like to see a Ayiti, in this 21st century, which is progressive, sustainable, and radical. Whoever wins the presidential election, I want to claim, shout, and sing in my tenor voice: ♪♫ Mwen fèt nan yon bel peyi,♫ yo rele li AYITI... ♫♪

Post-scriptum: Just wondering, why is it that, it is always the ugly people (like MOI), who decide to be nudist.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Legacy of a simpleton

The luxury of time.- Kalewès.-

"Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours, and minutes every day. The rich can’t buy more hours. Scientists cannot invent new minutes. And you can not save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair, and forgiving. No matter how much time you have wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow." ~Denis Waitely (British novelist).

L'espace d'un cillement.- In the flicker of an eyelid.-

When one reaches un certain âge (a certain age), one starts reflecting on what kind of legacy, one will leave behind. Every aspect of living (and dying for that matter) involves the process of time. Yes, time is precious, we never know for sure how much of it we are allotted. How do we know whether or not we are spending it responsibly? better yet, is it necessary to spend it responsibly? Shouldn’t we just experience the condition of being alive? lifting our spirits? praying, and playing? humming, and humping? Who is accountable for "time" anyway? Christians believe in God, Buddhists in Buddha, Muslims in Allah, and of course, we (Ayitians) believe in the lwas (deities of Ayitian vodou religion). I have somehow inferred, that it is "time" for me to "chillax". My friends, and loved ones agree that my sensitivity, and honesty, have always been my life's biggest hurdle, some say it is/has been my "malheur" (the bane of my life), just because, I have felt every single of my life experiences to the core of my being (nan nannan m), happiness is retrospective, that is why lifetime not-so-secret/down low lovers, and concubines, often reminisce, and wax about le bon vieux temps (the good ole days), childhood friends hark back to bygones era, and why, pleasant scenes keep revolving in our minds. A la recherche du temps perdu, (Remembrance of things past).

Note: Vodou: Afro-Caribbean religion, sometimes spelled Vodu or Vudu in Benin; in Togo: also Vodon, Vodoun, Voudou, or other phonetically equivalent spellings. In Ayiti: Vudu, Vaudou, Vodu, Vodoo.

And for my crimes, this is my time.- Sa m fè, ma p peye.-

In this atypical life of mine, I have been humiliated, mystified, fooled, lied to, coaxed, bullied, physically abused, vilified, blemished, cajoled, loved, adored, despised, tolerated, spoiled, caressed, and I have been the anathema to many, but I still advocate to the theory, that Good will always triumph over Evil, I am without regrets, and I pray the Lord daily, to keep acrimony out of my heart, (it may be too late for the latter), then again, I see my kids' face, laughing, smiling, developing, and reaching maturity, learning, discovering, questioning, ♫ 
and I say to myself What a wonderful world ♪.

This is what life is all about: the pains, les petites joies, the love, hugs and chocolate kisses, the smiles, the laughters, the ironies, the tears, the treacheries, the betrayals, the dreams, the achievements, the fiascos, the catastrophes, the failures, la douceur du pardon, the sweetness of forgiveness, the unexpected, the sorrows, the fears, the dramas, the disillusions, the chicaneries ect...My legacy (if any), will reside in the many warm embraces that I have exchanged, or in the 2 cents worth of advice I have given, the unconditional, scrupulous, and candid love that I have shared. My wishes are simple: I would like to be thought of, as the person who offered a shoulder to cry on to others, the one who mourned with those who mourned, and helped them find the courage within themselves to get back up, I pray daily, that "in memoriam" of MOI, my two (2) children will remember me, as the person who laughed, joked, and endlessly lectured them to find the courage within themselves to be unique, to stand for what is right, ethical, to always (no matter the price) have a "moral certainty", I hope, they don't let evil overcome them, au contraire, they should overcome evil by doing good, and to always be les avocats des causes perdues (the devil's advocates). This life of mine, would not be in vain after all, if three (3) scores from now, my children recollect how they felt when they were in my company, it would not be futile, if they remember that TRUTH, and confidence are the roots of happiness, it would not be hollow, if they actualise that other people's opinions of them, do not have to become their realities, and most significantly, It is not WHO is right, but WHAT is right, that is important...Wait, be still, and patient, keep God first, and everything else will follow...Continuance in kind.

A certain éclat.- It ain't EZ.-

Things could have been worse, much worse, and I am content they are not. I am tired, but I am felicitous, elated, and blessed because I am living, breathing, exultant for my family, happy for blue skies, sunsets, jubilant to be here, to have hope, to know that things will be better, and eventually, I will be vindicated.
"Truth is generally the best vindication against slander" (Abraham Lincoln)

He/she conquers who endures.-.

If you are happy with who you are, then victory is at your door step, no one can take it away from you, and at least in those little tiny moments when you are nice to yourself, failure can not get to you. We can never determine the outcome of anything. We can only be prepared, and try our very best. But, if life has brought you down to your knees, things should crumble, and the following advices: just work harder or put things in perspective, and it’s destiny just isn’t cutting it for you, or when even spirituality may not be enough, if you have turned into anybody without dreams, if nothing is like it was, if all is lost forever, if you are shattered, or even have cracked in the face of adversity, I beseech you to remember that you still have one powerful weapon left at your disposal: You can still decide how you will treat yourself in the process. So, I supplicate you to choose to treat yourself with love, patience, understanding, and caring.

Evil is always possible, Goodness is a difficulty.-

I am cognizant, that it takes time, and effort to stop rolling in the mud, it may require a colossal effort not to fall into the crevasse (abyss) of human illusion, it is hard to follow a righteous path in a labyrinth without walls, but I know it is possible. I know that I can lean back, and gotta get, THAT, dirt off my shoulder (Jay-Z, Ref:1), in the interim, allow me to sing David Phelps' lyrics (Ref:2) ♪♫ As I look in the eyes of my daughter, and my son, I hope, ♫♪ I've stood for something that they'll want to carry on, ♫ 'cause life is far too short not to finally realise that it's long enough to make a difference in someone's life ♫♪ So I'm gonna love my neighbor, ♪♪ and I'm gonna love my wife, wrap my arms around my children, and pray with them each night ♪♫ Thank God for all the good things cause the good things are enough, the ties that bind, and leave behind a legacy of LOVE...♫♪

As an aside: Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors, call what they do PRACTICE?

Ref:1-: Jay-Z: Arguably the greatest American born rapper to ever live.

Ref:2-: David Phelps: Christian vocalist, and lyricist.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The "weirdacity" of Ole G

Joy to the world, my mind is gone.-

I have been tired lately, I have not been feeling so great, even been fatigued and/or maybe, I have got a trace of the infamous old age syndrome. Things are OK really, I have a great family, great circle of friends, and I finally understand that friends come, and go, but I have learned to hold on to a precious few, because the older you get, the more you need people who can listen to you babble, and not groan. This year has been difficult, hasn’t it? nearly every person I know, has had a tale of sorrow, losses of loved ones to tell. These are the days, if not the epoch, of thankfulness, and gratitude, neither of which requires anything from us, but a merry, sincere heart, and the acknowledgement that we all so richly deserve.

In this crass, adulterous, violent, crime ridden, and vulgar world, where honesty is in short supply, and too many different personalities conflict with what is right and wrong, it is not easy to be the master of your own feelings, and thoughts. I have been procrastinating, kept putting off updating the blog, it's just that horrid phrase kept chiming in my tèt kokolo (bald head): You will have time to do it later.

A particularly divine, quick-witted, and sagacious grande dame (take a bow, my dear), whom I have not seen (face á face/ face to face) in twenty eight (28 ) plus years, but thank God for Facebook, brought me a certain gaiety with these discerning words: There is no such thing as sane people, we are living in an insane world, abnormality is a figment of our imagination, or what so-called sane minds came up with. I sometimes cannot find the right words to write on this here blog, my followers expect so much, yet, I have delivered so little, this blog does not reward me with $$$, or any notoriety, but this is the space where I vent, and mostly babble, about the inane nonsense on my mind, and who knows? may be one day, I will muster enough gusto to write something to make you laugh, smile, and God forbid THINK.

And there goes ME thinking.-

Several things that I would like to talk about, but knowing me, however, I will briefly mention them, and then move on to some radòt (ramblings). I often write about crazy things that annoy me, and/or annoying things that make me crazy! Was it Douglas Adams who said: In the beginning, the universe was created, this has made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad move. Then again, I have always thought that any day above ground is a great day. Anyways, it all does not matter now, because my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of Lebron James to the Miami Heat (NBA), and losing in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Welcome to my abnormal world, so glad you stopped by, and happy reading...Jesus, what was that diatribe all about?

Note:  Douglas Adams: British author, satirist, and dramatist.

One last time, let's hear it: Waka Waka, it's time for Afrika.-

Afrika Suni was colourful, noisy, and a vibrant celebration of international football, but it was the World Cup the Samba spirit died, some say it was the World Cup when/where Pele's eternal magnificence, Leonidas' splendid kicks (inventor of the bicycle kick), and Ronaldinho's aesthetic game, were forever darkened, if not buried, by a type of soccer at odds with the glorious Brasilian brand that has been maintained for generations. For once, the Brasilians looked perplexed, seething, and bickering with referees, and opponents...RIP Jogo Bonito (rest in peace, beautiful game).

p.s.- Waka Waka: Fang language from Cameroon; English: Do it; get the job done; get the task done.

The biggest names in football simply did not turn up at this tournament: England's Wayne Rooney, somehow forgot how to run, and pass, Argentina's Messi, could not find the net from two (2) feet away, and Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo, could only score one (1) rather comical goal against North Korea. The brightest star of the tournament was Uruguay's talented forward *Diego Forlan*, and the most hated man in Afrika is Uruguay's Luis Suarez, but forget about Brasil, Forlan, and Suarez, perhaps the biggest achievement, was the reduction of crime in Afrika Suni to almost negligible levels, by the mobilization of a well-organized, and equipped force of more than 40 thousand (40 000) police/security officers deployed at: (Stadia, FIFA headquarters, hotels/motels, whorehouses, public parks, restos, tourists venues ect...), this all creates an interesting issue, the Afrika Suni government is going to face some difficult questions. If it could build so many wonderful stadi, and reduced crimes in the country to almost negligible levels, why can’t it provide enough new housing for shanty dwellers, or hospitals and schools?

Note: World Cup 2014, will be in Brasil, world capital of: soccer, tangas,
gwo dada (big butt), and kanaval...Qui dit mieux? (who can possibly claim better?).

L'union fait "la farce".- Idiocracy and Democracy.-

Like most abnormal people, I enjoy a good laugh, especially at the expense of others, and as luck would have it, I had an exceptionally good one today. Sweet Micky (MM), and Wyclef Jean, along with thirty plus (30+) other individuals, officially entered Ayiti's presidential race, some have wondered out loud, what Black Alex (James Pierre Alexis) is up to these days . Now, let us try to see things without the tainted prism of bias, prejudice, and cynicism. As far back as I can remember, I have been a political junkie, and have loved nothing more than to discuss, debate, and frustrate, those who hold diametrically opposite views to my own.

Note 1.- "MM": Michel Martelly aka Sweet Micky/ El Miko.

I do take umbrage to the trenchant verbal assaults aim at Wyclef Jean, improper arguments, like referring to his pedigree, and his poor command of the English language, may warm the hearts of so many (in the "red meat" sense), but they also discredit those who make them in the eyes of equitable observers. One of the reasons why I abhor the politiks of the so-called Ayitian middle class, and those who still have the preponderant control of the country, is that they have getting away with this sort of behaviour for decades, and of course, we have allowed them to even make careers out of such comportement, but this time (for once), the arrant fools do not realise that their antipathies, will only unmask, and undermine their own credibility, and publicly promulgate their personal failures.

Note: Politik: Politicians/ Political Affairs; Politiques/ Affaires Politiques (French).

I do have reasons, plenty of reasons, to again, take umbrage about most diasporas' assertion that: the sky will fall, if 'Clef ascends to the presidency, there is no magic left in this line of argument. As a humanist, I would like Wyclef's effort, dedication, and philanthropy to various Ayitian causes, - TO MATTER - by bringing us closer to some national goal.

One cannot possibly doubt the selflessness, and the devotedness of Wyclef Jean to his country, after all, for the past decade or so, he has "represented" the Ayitian diaspora magnificently on the international scene, and the narrative that he is offering is irresistible, le retour de l'enfant prodigue, the prodigal son, returning to rescue his native land.

Umbrage, encore et toujours (once again), at the idea, that he will be a bad Prezidan (President) because he does not speak Kreyòl, nor French, or he will be a horrible, just because he does not speak "Proper English", this is not the time for quackery logic.

Sweet Micky (MM) has his personal demons, video tapes cannot be refuted, and a few tapes, of our potentially future Prezidan (president), parading on stage wearing a jip (skirt), and/or a bikini tanga, have surfaced on the Internet social networks, It should be duly noted that his 100% KK cd (100% shit/excrement) was/is still a best seller, but when it comes to Micky, one discerns a certain laissez rouler les bons temps, after all Micky is notre matamore préféré, notre Hidalgo chéri, notre Don Quichotte à nous, all is forgiven, just a self-aggrandising braggart having a few laughs, meanwhile, 'Clef is already a polarising figure, loathed by the Ayitian middle class, and bourgeoisie, but adored by the young, the disenfranchised, and the downtrodden (the majority).
  • Matamore: braggart (English); vantard (French); dyòlè: (Kreyòl).
  • Hidalgo: Title of individuals of the Spanish nobility.
  • Don Quichotte: Main character of Miguel de Cervantes' classic novel El ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha  (Spain, circa 1600).
But there is a wider issue up in here, the future president of Ayiti, must overcome the challenges of bringing things like potable water, housings, decentralization, electricity, roads, health care, education, and jobs to Ayitians. Good Governance, if there is such a thing, or such a word, is not black, and white – there are many shades of gray. I am not willing in anyway whatsoever to condone the detractors of Wyclef Jean, but I have come to the conclusion, tho QUALIFIED, however he is, INELIGIBLE to run for office in the 2010 election, simply because, Ayiti's Constitution (1987), Article 135, clearly stipulates: Candidates must have had five (5) consecutive years of residency in Ayiti prior the election. Mr Wyclef Jean has never/ever resided in Ayiti for five (5) consecutive years: Causa finita; end of argument; Sispan n pale anpil.

Personal message to Mr Wyclef Jean.- (Doomed, but gallant solution.-)

Some battles are not worth fighting, some prizes, some trophies, some awards, are just not worth the blood, sweat, and the tears expended in acquiring them. They hold you back, traumatise, deflate, break you, ou gen pou di, se djab baka ka p manje w, they may make you lose faith in the brotherhood of man, take a pass on this particular battle. As the wise man once said, it really does not matter if you jumped in, or were pushed in, just keep treading water like hell, and GET OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN, I would add, that you should not only try to keep afloat, you should be also heading back to shore (Yele Haiti). Once there, start off from where you left off, and sail on, my brother.

Let it never be said, that I am an alarmist; apoplectic: maybe; deranged: definitely. Bad choices, superstars choices, ex prime ministers choices, yo' mama choices, impossible choices; this election campaign seems the first in memory, where all thirty four (34) candidates are equally unimpressive. Elections serve a purpose, but are often flawed, complicated, costly, so what marker should we use? The classic, choose the lesser of two (2) evils? Close your eyes, and see what the almighty pen chooses? sadly, this whole charade certainly is not about who is more deserving, I think that in our preferential, emotional, Ayitians have it like dat , voting system, it seems like abstaining from voting, or maybe just writing WHO CARES on the ballot box will be the easiest way to ensure that neither of the thirty plus (30+) candidates get our votes. And perhaps, that is the best choice we can make at the moment.

In an unrelated story, Kool-Aid, will be available in several delicious new flavours.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long live folly.- Vive la bagatelle

Ole G goes to school.- 

The old man went back to school, and it ain't kool, the first one to laugh, or even smirk at the idea of Ole G trying to learn a new language and/or sitting, sur les bancs de l'école ( sitting on school benches) will have to pay une amende (a fee). Yes, I have been attending Kiswahili classes daily,  since I have always felt that language is an artifact of culture. My classmates are all recent law school graduates, needless to say, that they are all young (20 something), sharp, smart, and they have somehow confused the classroom with the courtroom. It all sounds like fun, since I have always enjoyed to partake in a few verbal jousts, now other than for mere entertainment value, I share the following anecdote with you, because I believe that I have been bamboozled. Sorry, this is not for the memory books, or the diaries. Hominis est errare (It belongs to man, to err/ especially Ole G).

Buffy Mc Kean.-
  • Day 1.- The very first day, for some Lord only knows why reason, I grabbed a seat next to Buffy Mac Kean, 41 seconds later, I learned that barrister-at-Law Mac Kean is a natural Californian Buddhist, Confucian scholar, and a vegetarian, who likes yoga & meditation, did I mention that the Buffer talks about herself in the third (3rd) person, and giggles endlessly? I do NOT like Miss Mac Kean, she has somehow triggered my annoyance button, but God has an adroit sense of humour: Buffy adores Ole G.
  • Day 2.- The great escape, four (4) rows to the right, of course Miss cheerleader, thought I was tweaking with the assigned seats rule, I calmly explained to the giggler, that we are no longer in  third (3rd) grade, and this is a spacious room over thirty (30) seats for fourteen (14) individuals, the Yogi did not register my comment, she moved  four (4) rows down to the right, next to Ole G; who cares what I had to say, the scholar was too busy showing me her baby pictures, while informing me that she only listens to Han music (traditional Chinese folk song), I also was educated about the qin, the most important instrument in a Chinese orchestra. Silently, I addressed a prayer to my Lord, my saviour: Lord, strike me now!
  • Day 3.- I evaded the veggie, awaited for the rapscallion, to take a seat, faked to the middle, moved three (3) rows, and six (6) desks from her assigned seat, lounged in the middle chair, between two (2) gents, a brilliant maneuver to say the least, the pixie calmly turned around, flashed her Colgate smile, slowly picked her notebooks, books, pens, liquid ink highlighters, erasers, glue sticks, Crayola pencils, Blackberry, handbag, backpack, tablet, and laptop, calmly walked toward me, and simply asked one of the gent to move one (1) seat to the right because she always sits next to her new BFF. I hesitantly asked what does BFF stand for? the malefactor stared me down, and chimed, that it stands for: "Best Friend Forever".
  • Day 4.- Fwa sa se pou tout bon, (this is it), when everything else fails, good ole Ayitian becharm, and sophistry will always save the day: I painstakingly informed Her Tackiness, that I am under the weather: the cold if not the flu, it would not be safe or wise to sit next to me, as her BFF, I would not want her to catch a virus or 2, who knows, my cold...Buffy smiled, flipped her hair, arched her highbrows, giggled, and informed me that, she has been inoculated thirty seven (37) shots, henceforth, immune from all kind of swine flu, bird flu, avian flu, influenza type A, and B, dengue fever, yellow fever, malaria, cholera, varicella, typhoid, rabies, polio ect...and every bit of the caricature that she is, she inquired if I knew what scale Han music is based on?
  • Day 5.- Buffy brought me a one (1) litre water bottle, and some ibuprofens for my pains, and aches,  while catching her breath, she revealed that her nickname is Buff-Buff,  I subtlety uttered that with a name like Buffy, one truly does not need a nickname, Buff-Buff giggled, and assigned me a nickname: Baba... Baba had to apologise five (5) times to Buff-Buff for his effrontery.
  • Day 6.- As I walked through the classroom door, knowing perfectly well, that even if I continue to pray, I am toast, I found myself singing the Ole Negro spiritual hymn:
♪ ♫ Ride in, kind Saviour ♫ No man, nor woman especially Buffy can hinder me.♪ O, Jesus is a mighty man ♫♪ No man, & company ♫ I am marching through Buffy fields ♪♪ ♪ Protect me, kind Lord ♫♫ O, Satan is a busy man...♪

Day 7.- Rien ne va plus (the die is cast), broken, hoodwinked, crushed, weakened, disheveled, submissive, subservient, zombified, and resigned to a torturous life, I voluntarily grabbed the seat next to Esquire Buffy Mac Kean. Causa finita (the cause is ended)

Monsieur, le professeur.-

The Kiswahili teacher is a portly forty (40) something Tanzanian natif natal, who insisted on the very first day to be referred to as "Mister Professor", apparently two (2) scores ago, the grand-stander attended a three (3) weeks Certificate Programme at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), and to prove his perfect attendance at the venerable Ivy League Institution, every ten (10) minutes or so, he pulls out a picture of himself, stylin' in the middle of  Harvard Square. In spite of his great pride in attending a Certificate Programme at Harvard, Le Prof has a certain disdain for America, Ole G investigated, and discovered that besides Cambridge, Sir Professor also visited Maine (USA), where he was robbed, and received a bastonnade (a beating) from a couple of thugs, hence his scorn against the American establishment. Monsieur of course, refers to Augusta as the crime capital of the world; who gets jacked in enchanting, quaint, and safe Maine? the one (1), and only syllable US States, renown for its scenery, rolling mountains, widely honoured, and acclaimed for its seafood cuisine.

Addendum: L'enmmerdeur (the rascal) in MOI just could not resist, two (2) days after completing my investigation, I informed Monsieur le professeur, that I am a Mainer (from Maine), and inquired if he knew that Maine has the largest toothpick factory in the United Sates?

Note: Buff-Buff is still giggling about the latter.

T.I.A.- (This is Afrika).- Karibu: Welcome.-

When you waive expectations for a trip, it usually means you're going to enjoy it, so when I traveled to Arusha (Tanzania), I did not have any expectations to begin with, I was merely intrigued by the Mother land! this country is undoubtedly kaleidoscopic in its people, landscapes, and culture. Arusha is intimate, relaxed, and gentle, the pace is slowed, languid, unhurried affairs to say the least, but don't let the Tanzanians fool you, with their expressive brown eyes, and soft looks, in reality, they are shrewd, smart, and ingenious.

Anticipating, and awaiting for the day first ray of sunshine to caress your face, in my case, my tèt kokolo (bald head), as it rises over the horizon, is wishful thinking . Baby, it's cold, and grey outdoor, and it rains daily. I am on the other side of the world; your summer is my winter, just like your today is my tomorrow . The sun does not rise, but it goes down, it gets dark early around here, but everyday, in my always over-active imagination, I have pictured sunsets, a cold beer on the boardwalk , blue skies, sunny beaches, and ladies parading in thong bikinis!

Early on, I set out my quest to learn about the Masai, a task that I have found more challenging than I ever expected, sadly I have discovered that the new Masai generations are distant from their own tribal heritage, and though wazungu (Westerners) have brought many benefits: like classical education, and health care to the Masai, they have also pushed the Masai to "modernity", and the rejection of so called "primitive traditional practices", with development has come Blackberries, iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S III, HDTV, iPods, iPads, and imported plastic wares (tupperwares), and of course, the Westerners have brought HIV/AIDS.

Note.- Masai: sometimes spelled Maasai

Whatever the reasons, the older Masai (over 35 years old) have remained true to themselves, after all the Good Lord, have blessed them with a rich and unique culture, they are old enough to remember a simpler life, prior to  iPods, iPads, Blackberries,  Samsung Galaxy IIIs, and thank God, that they still enjoy traditional dances, and continue to practice their religion.

Driving around Arusha.-

A couple of hours driving in Arusha's main road, a dull moment never seems to approach us, as the frenzy, and craziness of Tanzanian life takes place just outside of our car's window: elegant, manicured, and pedicured women selling fruits & vegetables, motorcycles, and scooters passing us at 80 mph, men carrying goats on their bikes, kids running after cattle, a donkey or two (2) crossing the streets, and pedestrians sliding across our automobile's hood, surprising, and entertaining moments for a Mzungu (Westerner).

Behind the chaos, lying amongst la verdure (the greenery), two (2) wondrous mountains: Mount Meru, and Mount Kilimanjaro. An unassuming place, the people of Arusha has allowed us to explore a side of Tanzanian's life at a rather enjoyable pace, we have somehow managed to visit most of the local restaurants/bars (wink,wink), rumours that Ole G has already established a credit line at all the local pubs in downtown Arusha, are greatly exaggerated.

Note.- Mount Kilimanjaro (Kili): located in Tanzania (North-Eastern region) is the highest mountain in Afrika elevation 19 334 feet above sea level.

Mount Meru: also located in Tanzania, 10th highest mountain in the world, elevation 14 980 feet.

Last week, while attending Karibu Fair, I uttered: "This is the Afrikan heritage, I had dreamed of to find here", Tout l'monde ici parade avec une clope á la gueule (everybody is drinking). What better way to spend a day, than selecting the best tasting Afrikan wine, and cheese, what could be more pleasant than haggling over the prices of African crafts (paintings, tribal masks, kitenges, kangas, batiks, zebra rugs, etc...) or experimenting with the cuisine of Regional Eastern African countries, and even when you get drunk, blasted, still believe that you are civilised, and cultured.

Notate bene.- Kitenges, and kangas are colourful inexpensive toile/twal, (linen/cotton cloth), it is simply the so called "wrap around" that Western women used at the beach, pool, but the Afrikan women are experts at the wrapping, some sinners moun ki gen madichon (cursed individuals), have christened the kitenge: "easy access" wink...wink.

Warning: Watching an Afrikan woman wrapping a kitenge or a kanga around her voluptuous body, may cause mental, and physical addictions.

Et le football dans tout ça?.- Are you ready for some football?.-

As all of you know by now, vuvuzelas trumpets are de rigueur, Hear ye world! this is the World Cup of pride, and joy, flags are flying proudly all across Afrika, ecstatic Afrikans hope that the World Cup, will forever transform the negative global perceptions of them forever.

Electric, unbelievable, and of course spectacular, cannot begin to describe the performances at the opening ceremony, hilarious exchange between South Afrikan football analysts, and German pundits; The analysts were congratulating all the World Cup organizers/workers/volunteers for completing the stadi on time, when one German guru blurted out: Of course, the stadi were designed by German architects.

One sad note, because of the tragic death of his granddaughter, Madiba did not attend the festivities , watching Nelson Mandela at the funeral of his teenage granddaughter simply broke my heart.

Note.- Madiba: Xhosa's tribe name of  Mr Nelson Mandela. 
  • Los Albicelestes.- Seldom has such a big question mark hung over Argentina, Coach Loco Diego Maradona, is one (1) loss away from slapping a referee, his team is playing well (as of this week), cruised thru the first round, and has scored ten (10) goals in four (4) matches, The Albicelestes  have vanquished Mexico (3-1), but the world is still awaiting for Messi to score! Many foresee an Argentina vs Brazil final, nose to nose, ego to ego.
Latest news.- Earlier today, (28 June) Afrika Suni officials deported Argentina's barra brava (Argentinian hooligans).
Note. Albicelestes: Nickname of Argentina's soccer team, meaning: White & blue sky.
  • Die Nationalelf (The National 11).- The Germans proved that they are serious contenders to win the sacred Cup, by annihilating their old European rival England (4-1). The 3 Lions (England), put their fans into nap-mode, against Germany, they did score a goal, that was disallowed, the ball was well over the line, for the history buff, it was deja vu (England vs Germany, Wembley Stadium, 1966 World Cup), and btw, where on earth was Kevin Rooney? let the recriminations begin, the Brits simply aren't that good, and they haven't been for a good long time. Over hyped, and under performing, that's the consensus on England, I have always said a true World Cup really only begins, after the Brits are eliminated.
  • La Seleçao.- Another day...another game...another win, Chile tested Brasil's resolve for half an hour, I have fancied Chile as the dark horse, but coach Dunga's team has more than flair. La Seleçao is tough, resilient, and uncompromising. Lucio is the resident thug, this Brasil will not be intimidated (Brasil 3 - Chile 0). The lacklustre display against Portugal, has been forgotten, Brasil may have left Ronaldinho home, along with Adriano, and some sensational young prospects, but this team has been playing together for a while, and they really work well together. Now comes a dream match-up in the quarterfinals against the Dutch, no clear favourites, can any one beat Brasil? well, of course, on "Any given Sunday", the necessary bit of luck, and a whistle happy referee, but one thing for sure, when Brasil ticks; there is always an "if" in football, but Brasil's air of confidence is accurate, and all eyes are on them.
  • Bafanas, Elephants, Lions, and Eagles.- Five (5) out of  six (6) of the Afrikan teams participating in the Mundial were eliminated in the first round, The Elephants (Côte d'Ivoire) were trumpled, The Super Eagles (Nigeria) did not fly, and The Indomitable Lions (Cameroon)) did not roar, still 1 billion plus people continue dancing, singing, and cheering (Afrika party on), rumblings have already started about overpaid stars, not caring about the colours (Eto'o, Drogba, Kalu...) South Afrika's football team holds the singular honour of being the first host country NOT to move to the round of 16. Small consolation, in their last game, the "Bafana Bafana" (The Boys) beat the most arrogant, disjointed, and embarrassing squad participating in the World Cup: France. Les Bleus treated football's greatest show like an inconvenience, not a privilege.
p.s.- Les Bleus: nickname of the French national soccer team.
  • The Yanks.- Went from "no shot to long shot", on a verge of a miracle, they ran into the spirited Black Stars of Ghana, and lost in overtime (Ghana 2-USA 1). What a nite of football in Afrika! if any team deserves the benefit of instant replay, USA and England are prime candidates. Let us hope that the Americans will retain their passion for football. Ghana next game is against the tough, well- drilled Uruguayans. Only Ghana stands in the way in the race between Europe, and South America. No Afrikan team has ever made it to any World Cup semi-finals, and Ghana is standing at the threshold of history.
  • The Azzuris.- One (1) week ago, the Italians, World Champion in 2006, quietly slipped out of Afrika Suni, truthfully, The Azzuris were just mediocre.
  • Schweizer Nati, La Nati.- The Swiss were anything, but clockwork.
The quarterfinals lineup: Ghana vs Uruguay, Netherlands vs Brasil, Argentina vs Germany, and Paraguay vs Spain.

Fans, and so-called pundits alike agree, that the referees, are yellow/red cards happy; while Fifa announced with great fanfare, that the 2010 World Cup tournament, has been free of doping (so far), and I arrogantly opined that, the Jabulani ball flies like a rocket. ..Don't touch that dial, stay tuned...

Note: Jabulani: Official World Cup SA 2010 ball.

Friday, May 28, 2010

One Life, one mind...

Notes de l'auteur.-
  • 1.-An old friend of mine, blessed by impressive, and unusual intellectual acuteness, has privately questioned the validity of my stories. You talk to four (4) people about something, you are going to get four (4) different stories, but my version will be the most fascinating, and therefore it must be true.
  • 2.-Because of the acquisition of moustiquaires (mosquito nets), all future performances, by the Tanzanian Mosquitoes Symphony Orchestra, have been indefinitely cancelled.
Nostalgie, douce mélancolie.- Nostalgia, sweet melancholy.-

Webster's dictionary defines nostalgia as a bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past, the condition of being homesick; I guess Ole G is suffering from "nostalgia", simply put: I miss "home", although in this particular, if not peculiar circumstance, "home" is not my birth country (Ayiti), but the United States of America, where I lived, and somewhat survived for more than twenty five (25) years. If home is where the heart is, mine would be split down the middle, with half beating in Ayiti, and its other counterpart in the States. These two (2) halves have different experiences, that have resulted in a whole, that is perfectly suited to my philosophy of life.

Speaking of waxing nostalgia, it is understandable that I would miss my loved ones, but for some obscure reasons, I miss NBC's Today Show, especially Al Roker's jolly morning weather report, somehow miss seeing the familiar faces on American television: the Obamas, the Clintons, and of course, I miss the 3 stooges, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and the ring leader Rush Limbaugh, certainly could not predict, that I would miss the Garden State Parkway, the Lincoln Tunnel...aaahhh! the pollution.

Sunday,  11 April, 2010.- Jumapili, tarehe kumi na moja Aprili, Elfu mbili na kumi (2010).-

Even Mr Bossa's matinal visit (7:30 am), could not disrupt the serenity of this tranquil Sunday, a day free of mist, and rain (clair de soleil), yesterday, we spent 5 hours, reviewing the personal references of all the job applicants, I am ecstatic to announce, that all the unadvertised, and advertised positions have been fulfilled. Just two (2) days in Arusha, and already a few situations have risen, that have left me flabbergasted to say the least, for example: it cannot possibly take one (1) month (30 days) to paint a house  seven (7) rooms), and it may take me a lifetime, to fully comprehend why does it take over one (1) hour to grill a burger?

I am somewhat astounded, by the lack of professionalism, there aren't any licensed/certified plumbers or electricians, medical doctors are as rare as the precious Tanzanites stones, and it' is obvious, that the homes, and the apartment/commercial complexes, were not designed, nor built by architects, and engineers, yet the town has its share of licensed, certified, gwo dada (big butt) gardeners, and escapees from mental institutions, posing as licensed automobile drivers.

The insouciance of the Tanzanians is driving me "insane, bonkos, loco, and nuts" (just pick your favourite adjective), not a brusque insane, I am still three (3) train stop away from madness, but their pole pole (relax/chill) demeanour, their contemptuous nonchalance, is just a bit too much for an old negro like Ole G, these people do not speak (per se), they whisper in a docile, monotone voice, they move around in slow motion, even the soko (outdoor market) are quiet around here, who amongst you, has ever visited a quiet marché en plein air (outdoor market).

I am beguiled, bewildered, and bewitched by the surreal street scenarios, where else but in Arusha, can one actually witness the sight of a goat riding in the back of a piki piki/(motorcycle), better yet, who has ever seen two (2) guys transporting a twenty five (25) inches television set on a bicycle?, but when all is said, and done, life truly ain't that bad around here, that is if one does not mind living with mosquitoes, rocky remote dirt roads, inescapable dust, pedestrians with a casual attitude toward their safety, zandolit (lizards), switching water pumps, and generators on/off.

Warning: a long, and inconsistent story ahead.-

Sunday afternoon. - A pleasant family drive in the country side, I was enchanted by the wondrous views of the Moshi Valley, and since the idea of mimosas, Sundays, and brunch go hand in hand, we thought it would be a good idea to brunch, at a casually chic restaurant located in Moshi, a place where one can hold a convo while sipping a glass of wine, or a dry martini, a perennial favourite of Tanzanian families, splendorous views of majestic Mount Meru, and naturellement, It is in this exquisite, and sumptuous setting, that I committed my very first social gaffe in Afrika (Tanzania)...Please allow me to gather my thoughts, then allow me to tell you, about the cuisine.

Note: I am keenly aware, how many times, I have used the phrasal verb "allow".

Note 1.- Mount Meru is a mountain located in Tanzania, Arusha National Park,(elevation 14 980 ft.), It is the second (2nd) highest mountain in Tanzania, and the fifth (5th) highest in Afrika.

Tanzanian cuisine can be summarise in 2 words: Ugali, and Nyama choma.

Ugali: Corn maize, Polenta for Italian cuisine lovers, and the Tanzanian recipe is a three (3) steps polka dance: boil water, pour in Ugali, and Stir, DO NOT ADD any seasonings , or anything else that could make it edible, cook for  maximum three (3) minutes. It is simply the most disgusting thing that I ever tasted (déguelasse), the South Afrikan name for it is pap, or mealie pap, Zimbabweans, call it sadza.

Nyama choma: a slab of meat, grilled or roasted, novice weaklings like me, eat the safe goat/beef nyama choma, but the locals, and the audacious, eat wild nyama choma (lions, monkeys, alligators ect...)

Notate bene: Nyama Choma is best enjoyed with a Tusker beer (Kenya), or a Tanzanian Kilimanjaro beer (Kili).

I placed my safe order of nyama choma goat, took a sip of my Kilimanjaro beer, then took a deep breath, and the most wonderful yet familiar aroma flattered my nostrils. I could not place it , but it smelt (smelled?) a little like tasso (fried goat). I kept taking deep breath, and turning my head to see where this delicious aroma was emanating. Sure enough, there it was, my platter of nyama choma goat being brought in by the waiter, and it was mine to devour.

I instinctively reached for the serviette, and cutleries, quickly realising that they were missing , I sheepishly told the waiter: "Pardon me, young man, apparently you have forgotten the cutleries...Ô misère, Ô malheur , monumental faux pas, the family sitting at the next table paused, smirked, laughed anba shal (laughing in one's sleeve), the young attentive waiter, almost dropped the food tray, I have just committed un crime de lèse majesté (crime of lese-majesty), any well-brought up Ayitian, know that you do not rest your coude (elbow) on the table while eating, but I truly did not know, that in Tanzania, it is considered an offence, a national insult to use cutleries (forks, and knives) while eating the national authentic dishes, upon hearing my request, the waiter panicked, rushed back to the kitchen, brouhaha in the resto's pantry, the whole staff went on a "cutleries finding mission" for the Mzungu, (Westerner) seated at table # 7, cutleries were found, may be in the voisinage (neighbourhood) , a dozen or so staff members walked slowly by our table, to take a peek at the wanna be Mzungu, eating à la fourchette, 4 scores ago, this offence was punishable by imprisonment , nowadays, a "Mzungu", who uses knives, and forks while sitting at the table, is a plain imbecile, and is famously and forever christened as L'idiot du village (the village's idiot). I had to surrender my badge of Euro Ayitian influenced table etiquette, and digged in, hands, and feet, still, I could not but think in a most humorous manner, of my adored father who often opined: Fiston, tes manières laissent à désirer  (Son, your manners leave much to be desired).

Note: The Kiswahili word Mzungu, (Wazungu, pl.) means Westerner (s) or person (s) of European descent.

World Cup South Afrika 2010.- Afrika's delirium.- L'Afrique en délire-

Besides the dozen of (24/7) television stations dedicated solely to "Afrika Suni 2010", the debauchery, the bacchanal, the countless hit songs being played on the radio, and television stations, the below mentioned statement from one of the continent most respected scholar, left me pensive:
"...Every object - and every person - has a taboo name that functions as a password allowing you to enter and control that object. It is given that name as the final act in great ritual ceremonies, and sacrifices. "White people don't know the true name of Afrika, nor do they know the names of the Afrikan match ball or Afrikan stadia," said Tchegun. "How can they work effectively if they don't know what they are playing with, or who they have to play against?" According to Dr Tchegun, the die has already been cast - Afrika will win the World Cup..."

I would like to emphasise that these old forms of belief survive in all Afrikan societies (and even elsewhere in the world), not just the six (6) Afrikan countries who are sending their teams to the 2010 World Cup. From voodoo to shamanism, via Grima, and Ngouati in Cameroon, and the Central African pygmies, from the marabouts of the Sahel - the elders of the north - to the medicine men of the west, and the witch doctors of the central part of the continent: Afrika is overflowing with powerful, traditional spirituality. How might those forces be able to contribute to an Afrikan country becoming the world champion in South Afrika?

Note: Marabouts: Holy men in Northern Afrika, some considered them saints.
Shamanism: Beliefs regarding communication with the spiritual world.

It all seems to be as serious as ever. The World Cup is going to be a superb spectacle, a colorful mix of cultures, and cults. That is what Afrikan football is like. None of the countries will want to be beaten, and they will all be doing their utmost to win that one trophy.

My personal opinion, the best team will win the World Cup (what a revelation), of course it takes a bit of luck, isn't it ironic, that winners are always the lucky ones, a bounce ball here/there, a mistackle, a whistle happy referee, can make a difference, but the perennial favourites remain, I am not a shaman, do not wear any gris gris (grigri) , nor a Sangoma, but I can safely predict six (6) out of the Elite eight (8) teams: Spain, Germany, Brasil, Italy, Argentina, Portugal, 2 remaining spots on my list,  six (6) Afrikan teams participating in SA 2010...
Messieurs, Faites vos jeux ! JWE.

Gris Gris (grigri): Amulets worn for good luck.
Shaman: Practitioner of shamanism.
Sangoma: Practitioner of herbal medicine in Afrika Suni.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The ramblings of a lunatic mind

De prime abord, (First, and foremost), I am obliged to demanti, debunk, a particular rumour running through the grapevine: according to a few people, (you know who you are). Two (2) days after my departure, the residents of Glen Ridge (NJ) threw the biggest party celebration in town history, fout manti, lies/unfounded rumours; YES, there was a block party in GR the following Saturday, but it had nothing to do with MOI traveling to Tanzania, said party was planned weeks, if not months ago. What can I say: Aux absents les os, (The bones to the absent).

Friday, 9 April, 2010 (21: 15) TZ time.- Un long voyage.-

KLM Airlines, Boeing 787 landed smoothly on the tarmac of Kilimanjaro International Airport, I was the very first one to make a beeline for the airplane exit, between airport lounges, and airplanes, I have just spent over 24 hours indoors; if I remember well, we did leave New Jersey the day before ( 8 April), jet lagged, groggy, chifonnen,(wrinkled), and all, I slowly walked toward the airport gates, noticeable, and noticed: a welcoming delegation of distinguished gents, I, of course, gathered that they were awaiting for MOI, but to my great chagrin, the welcoming delegation was awaiting for the Queen of Holland or was it the Queen of Thailand?
My personal welcoming delegation: a sea of giant bugs, each the size of a Volkswagen, my bald head must have been a friendly tarmac, because about a dozen of them landed safely on my tèt kokolo (bald head). Immigration was a breeze, except for an overzealous Immigration Officer who inquired about that particularly bright yellow shopping bag, Mr Officer just could not believe that we ONLY bought chocolate in Amsterdam; what family makes a 4 hour stop in Amsterdam (Europe), and just buys chocolate? The Noziers.
The drive from the airport was uneventful, and long, hence, I had enough time to inquire about the genius who designed, and built an International Airport 150 miles away from the nearest town! Must be the same genius who thought of putting road bumps every 40 feet, on a so called highway.

After about a 90 minutes drive, on "Bumpy Interboro Parkway", and surviving the stunts of a chauffeur, with obvious ambitions of joining the Nascar circuit, we finally made it safe and sound, to the place, where we hope, will be our new home for the next 2 or 3 years. I need to mention a delicious pwason gwo sel , bienvenue/welcome dinner, cooked by a Ayitian expatriate, before you even ask: pre-9 April , 2010, the entire Ayitian community in Arusha consisted of just two (2) natif natal, the Ayitian population, has of course doubled, post-9 April, 2010.Do not really remember much from that first night, I tried vainly to go zzzzzz, somnanbulated for a few hours.

p.s.- Does the verb somnanbulate exist?

Saturday, 10 April, 2010.- They came, they saw, and some conquered.-

Before I begin, let me say that the Noziers didn't hit the US Lotto, and escaped to Afrika, do remember that Tanzania is a 3rd world country, "à la Haiti" circa the 70's, $20 USD can, and will go a long way.
7:00 am: Overheard loud voices coming from the front yard, a quick look out the bedroom window, revealed a disturbing image, about a dozen people standing, walking, chatting by the entry gate, in my book, this is a crowd, and qui dit crowd, dit coup d'état, instinctively reached for my AK 47, dang! left it in the States, so with the bravery of Capois- la- Mort, I descended the stairs, and opened the door, I was first approached by:

Mr David Bossa.- "Big Boss Bossa".-

Mr Bossa, a rather pleasant chap, who looked 50, but claimed to be only 32 years old, introduced himself as a man of vast responsibilities, a bwana, gwo zotobre, (big shot), the one, and only Property Manager in Arusha, it only took me a NY minute to flag Mr Bossa as a "koutye", and Rent Collector, in plain English: we will see this negro every first of the month. Short, stocky if not pudgy, obviously educated overseas, he speaks the King's English with a slightly tainted East-African accent, he does have a future as a koutye, but his bull lacks some sh**, therefore, I have decided to be his mentor, for the next 6 months. One dilemma tho, to our great chagrin, we have discovered that Mr Bossa suffers from the Jehovah Witness Syndrome, it is common, if not normal, for Mr Bossa to pay us a cordial/friendly visit Sunday morning (7:30 am, the latest).

Mr Joas Giavarelli.- "Old Jo".-

Refusal Collector extraordinaire, Mr Joas Giavarelli, pitched an offer that no one could have refused, for the sensible price of 20 000 T Shillings a month ($14 US dollars), he will collect the refusals six (6) days a week, and he came prepared: contracts & letters of recommendation from countless business owners in town, it only took me a Brooklyn minute to realise that Mr Joas was the garbage man, had to wonder about his garbage truck, he reassured MOI, that he has been collecting "refusals" on his bicycle (20 years, and counting), and he has never missed one (1) day, never skipped one (1) house, or forgotten one (1) refusal bag, in fact more than forty (40) years ago, his father used to collect "refusals" on a donkey; his deceased father must be so proud of the "modern & model son". This is the classic:Si le fils ne dépasse pas le père, c'est qu 'il n'y a pas de progrès , btw, I know what you're thinking, Giavarelli sounds Italian, but Mr Joas swore on his father's grave, that he is 100 % black Tanzanian, and who am I to argue with a man about his bloodline? 

Mr William Taboka.- "Shifty eyes Will".-

Licensed, & certified gardener Mr Taboka, claimed to be the home's owner relative, in perfect English, he informed me, that he doesn't speak nor understand English, (ok) so Mr Bossa had to resign from his functions as Property Manager, and was promptly sworn in as the translator, in my humble opinion, Mr Taboka speaks English as well as Mr Bossa, simply because, I somehow spotted a sparkle in his eyes, whenever I mentioned US $ dollars, or T Shillings, he was hired in a Bronx minute, by Property Manager/Translator, (David Bossa), his responsibilities: in charge of the lakou (front/back/ side yard), and the lifting of any heavy objects; left me scratching my head, come to think of it, last nite, I did carry seventeen (17)  if not twenty (20) pieces of travel bags, up 1 flight of stairs, where was Mr Taboka when I needed him?

Security Group.- "Security tight, all the time"

Evance, and Nevance, two (2) enterprising young men from Security Group, the ultimate security company in town, paid a visit. I had to wonder, why do we need 24/7 security, isn't Tanzania, especially Arusha safe? they assured MOI that Arusha is as safe as paradise, Mr Nevance flattered my non-existent ego, and ventured: Such an important man like you Mr Nozier, lovely family and all, why do you want to be the one, and only family in the neighbourhood, without 24/7 security? Think of the neighbours? well, I replied: So far, in my life, I've never tried to keep up with the neighbours, in fact, I have always been known as a "Rebel without a Cause", Evance jumped in, and said: Sir, you are breaking my heart, I was obliged to excuse my faux pas, after all, who the hell do I think I am, to even think of crushing this young man's heart? besides I said to myself: less than 24 hours in Arusha, the Noziers certainly don't want to be accused of the abominable crime of dragging this exquisite area into ghettoville... somehow managed to wiggle out of this challenging meeting, promised Mr Nevance & Mr Evance, that if ever we reach a decision, Security Group Co., will be the first, and only Security Company on our list, hope and pray, that they understood, my delicate position, we have only been in town less than 24 hours, we somehow need to catch our collective breath, Mr Evance, the supposedly shy one, uttered in a quiet voice: No worries Mr Nozier, as a matter of the fact, our security guards have been posted at your front gate since last nite..."

Ms. Sia Wikie.- Manicured, and pedicured (MP2)

One (1) week before our arrival, Ms Wikie, was recommended, and hired, by a Tanzanian friend, for the important position of nanny, Ms Sia (I call her Yaya) speaks in a squeaky, ten (10) year old girl timbre, she does have the tendency to cook often (6 times a day), but since my kids are born gourmand, they simply adore her. It is imperative to mention, that Ms Wikie is petrified of sea foods (especially fish, and crabs). In her thirty-two (32) years, breathing, and living on this planet (Earth), she has never seen, touched or eaten crabs & fish; shrimps, lobsters, and oysters, are amazing creatures of legends, mythical beasts. I should mention that she does the laundry three (3) times a day, just because she has just discovered the joy of the electric washing machine. On her days off, Ms Sia, visits the spa (massage, mani and pedi).

Addendum.- On April 19th, 2010, the non speaking English gardener, was asked by Mr Bossa, to remove himself from 181 Weseko Street,  he was escorted manu military thru the gates, reason for the dismissal: being picky picky (a thief), at least that was the story from Mr Bossa, since nothing was reportedly missing from the house, I accused Mr Bossa of flexing his non existent muscles, didn't question his decisions further, after all: L'empire c'est la paix (The empire means peace);  Five (5) minutes after Mr Taboka's firing, Big Boss Bossa, hired Miss Veronique; how can I describe Mr William's replacement, besides that "baby got back" (big butt/gwo dada), and she has a tendency of exposing her derrière to the sun, unlike her predecessor, Miss Vero is not a licensed and certified gardener, and one can safely ass-ume, that in her life time, her ass-ets, have earned her many accolades and favours.

Furnishing the "furnished house".-

It turned out that our advertised furnished house, didn't come with much, besides two (2) vinyl sofas, six
 (6 )chairs, one (1)  clopi clopant table, four (4) mattresses, and an old tv. Saturday afternoon, after the countless matinal meetings with all the solicitors, koutye, and job hunters, mentioned above, we ventured into downtown Arusha, to acquire the basics (cutleries, food, light bulbs, ect) I quickly discovered that driving a car, in Arusha, is not for the kokobe, the depressed, the anemics, the kapon, or anybody who may suffer from any heart conditions; Very revealing tidbit, from a Tanzanian native friend: the automobile made its debut in Arusha just twenty (20) years ago, I wisely deducted from the aforementioned historical fact, that local pedestrians still haven't grasped the simple concept of crossing the streets, and I've reached the factual/scientific conclusion that, the dala dala drivers (local tap- tap/ mini van) are all drunk, blind crackheads, and escapees from mental institutions.

Our town, Arusha, (TZ) (The boondocks) .- In 100 words or less.-

Besides of the danger of driving a car, and the risk of being hit by a pedestrian, Arusha is a small town of less than 1 million inhabitants, surrounded by 2 majestic, and sublime mountains, (Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Meru), a 6 hours drive from the capital ( Dar Es Salaam, it does rain daily, le soleil fait sa révérence around mid day, the greenery (verdure ) is breathtaking, and everywhere, from the top of the mountains to the valleys, roads are 50 % paved, the government strictly supervises the cutting of trees for chabon (charcoal), everybody owns an electric or gas cooker, and to my great surprise, literacy is above 90 % amongst Tanzanians!
Downtown Arusha (Mjini) is reminiscent of Grand-Rue (P-a-P) circa the 70's, Indians, not the Geronimo types, more like the 7-11 ones, dominate commerce, I have been told that they have a certain racist, xenophobic, better than thou attitude toward the locals (read black Tanzanians), but I still have not experienced their xenophobic attitude yet, but you know if I ever do, you will hear the following announcement on CNN: We interrupt our regular scheduled program to bring you breaking news from Arusha, Tanzania...

Note; Most, if not all of the people in Tanzania speak English, but Kiswahili is la langue du jour.

The mystical, and mythical Masai.-

The majestic Masai people of Eastern Africa are pastoralists, nomadics, and polygamists, proud beyond limits, revered, if not feared by most, they have refused to abandon their ancestors traditions in favor of modern times, well, except for their Blackberries/cell phones, iPods . They live in perfect harmony with nature, have the ability to communicate with wild animals, and the skills to farm in the desert. They somehow believe that all the cattles in the world are their personal property (God's gift to the Masai's tribe), and reserve the rights to raid the farms of any other tribes to claim what is rightfully theirs.

The rite of passage, or coming of age ceremony, from boyhood to manhood, is not for the faint of heart, or a kapon like MOI, boys are circumcised (sikonsi) in their early teens in a ceremony attended by the entire village, the induction of anesthesia is ignored, if not unknown, the boy who even flinches during this procedure brands himself as a coward, and brings shame to his family ~Another rite of passage to manhood: boys as young as thirteen (13) years old, must hunt, and kill a lion, with just a spear.

The Masai woman.- God's most perfect creation.-

If for some unknown reasons, one is skeptical about the existence of God, it is simply because, one has never seen a Masai Woman; I have been speechless only twice in my entire life (witnessing the birth of my first born, and twenty (20) years ago, one (1) young woman just slayed me, born in BPC (Bas Peu de Choses), raised by a non pareil father, I can safely declare, that I've overheard, witnessed, and experienced a few things in my life, that is 'till I had the honour, if not the privilege, to see a Masai woman, by the way, it is truly a privilege to see one up close, a Masai woman is too "precious" to be seen in public and/or to walk amongst , le commun des mortels. Even now les mots me manquent (still speechless).

1 May, 2010: While chatting with my favourite machan n at the outdoor market, an unreal phenomenon, equal only to Moses parting of the Red Sea, happened...The entire market went "quiet", people stepped/jumped aside, some even bowed, I turned around, and saw God's most perfect creation... a MASAI WOMAN, a Queen walking amongst her subjects, and for only the 3 rd time in my entire life, I went into a state of shock (gaga/bèbè), froze in mid air, mouth agape, could not utter a word, still cannot remember anything about that blessed afternoon, but her face, her smile, her demeanour, her black skin, her bald head, her clothes, her image shall remain engrave in my tèt kokolo 'till the end of time.

Addendum.- I just could not understand the reverence, and fear inspired by the Masai people in Tanzanian, and Kenyan societies, 'till I met, and shook the hands of a few Masai, If anything, I have always taken a certain pride in my logical mind, please do believe me, when I say that the Masai have a certain je ne sais quoi , certain things cannot be scientifically explained, especially by a nincompoop like MOI...let us just leave it at that.

Next week: I shall tell you about the biggest party in the history of the world , (SA 2010), one (1) billion plus human beings, over  fifty (50) countries...the revelry of a continent.