Monday, February 27, 2006

Entebbe-Nairobi-Mombasa-Kilifi....

So, it appears that Besigye lost the election, and is somewhat predictably complaining of fraud. Ballot boxes not sealed, intimidation of his supporters etc. Let's just hope he doesn't do anything too radical.

I left Entebbe as planned, with no upsets and Ravel waving tearfullly to the girl he was leaving behind. I could have sworn he was mouthing the words 'I love you' as we walked out of the terminal building. I felt genuinely sorry for him at the moment, as it is more than unlikely they will ever see each other again. I learnt that the cause of their apparent tiff was that she had not told him she was in Uganda for the next three years as a community volunteer. I asked him why not. He told me she did not know how to say 'community volunteer' in English. I asked how she was going to manage in a country where Spanish is not on the school curriculum. He did not know, he said with a shrug.

So anyways, off we went. The words of the great Mark Knopfler ran through my head 'A lovestruck Romeo...sweet seranade..', or something like that. I confess I even shed a tear as I saw Ravel press his face to the cabin window to keep his sights on the girl for as long as possible. I patted him on the shoulder and comforted him with the usual 'don't worry old chap, there are plenty more fish in the sea' he looked quizzically at me, and I spent the next hour of he journey teaching him the meanings behind several well known idioms.

Once in Nairobi we headed for the travel agent who was due to supply us with tickets for our weekend on the coast. En route I rang them, only to discover they had cancelled our booking. Shock horror, gnashing of teeth, etc etc. I asked them what they could do about it, and why had the tickets been cancelled. It emerged there had been too long a delay in issuing the tickets after I had made the booking, which meant the system has automatically cancelled. All we could do was go to the airport and wait for a flight on standby.

We went for some food in town then headed back to the airport. The lady on the desk told us we were at position 16 in a queue of 16. I groaned outwardly, surprising an old lady in the business class queue. But I needn't have worried. By chance there were exacly 16 no-shows, which meant we caught our plane. We landed in Mombasa about 1130 pm and had a car waiting for us. The driver is someone I know from previous trips, and he is always happy to wait around, so it was a stress free trip up to Kilifi, about an hours drive up the coast.

I had been given an address by a friend where we were due to stay - a house in a compound near the Kilifi creek. I was to pick up the keys from security. But when I arrived, the security guard at first refused to let us in. I asked why, and he said because the guest had already arrived, and he wasn't told to expect more people. I told that WE were the guests, and that he had better let us in or his job would be in danger. I showed him emails, offered him money, begged and pleaded but he wouldn't give way. I then started to shout to gain the attention of whom ever was inside. My noisy emissions first set the dogs barking in a chain reaction around the neighbouring compounds, then 3 more guards arrived bearing truncheons, and finally there was movement from within the house.

I peeked behind the throng of security personnel, who were looking at me with a mixture of aggressiveness and puzzlement to see a woman in t-shirt and shorts walking towards us, brandishing a torch and an iron bar. I shouted hello and told her I was the guest, and asked if she could please let me in. She came to the door, looked us both up and down, and then put down the metal bar, much to my relief. 'Hi guys, I'm Mags' she said in a thick Australian accent. 'You must be Crumbly plus one I guess. Don't stand there getting grief from these bozos. Come on in....'

The 'bozo's moved away in silence, and I hurried through the gates with my bag, Ravel close behind. The gates shut, and we walked into the villa. The weekend was about to begin....

*****To be Continued********

6 comments:

hermione2001ie said...

Poor old Ravel.

Joseph - I hope Mrs Dr McCrumble gets emails as long as your Blog posts when you're away. I think I need to start supporting her as well as Ravel.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Well things should start looking up for Ravel if Australian women are on the premises, but McCrumble looks out of his element. Frankly, Doctor, I have no idea what you're doing there.

hermione2001ie said...

I see what you mean gorilla; he seems more concerned with Ravel's affairs than anything else.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Dear Both

Please do not speculate as to my treatment of significant others. I barely make mention of my good wife and the dear twins for the reason that I do not want them exposed to any public scrutiny. Such is the double-edged nature of the sword of celebrity that has been thrust into my chest.

yours in all honesty

J McC

Gorilla Bananas said...

Very well, Dr Joe, but we're still not clear what you are doing in that house.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Dear Gorilla

I was honestly engaged, helping out my fellow scientists in an exercise that involved retrospective mapping of an area where the people had been earlier recruited into an important scientific study of the local parasitic fauna. I am now back in the UK and ready to catch-up with the blogosphere once again.

yours etc

J McC