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.