Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

20 Mar
First Street, Harare, Zimbabwe

Image via Wikipedia

A while back I told you about the time the Hub took me on a business trip to Zimbabwe, when the car broke down and had to be towed back to South Africa.  The Hub was reminiscing today about some of his other trips, selling articulated trailers in sub-Saharan Africa.  He also told me about this incident which happened to his then-boss, John, an ex-Rhodesian, and I thought you might enjoy it.

In the early Nineties there was a foot-and-mouth scare in Zimbabwe.  Road blocks had been set up to ensure animals were not being transported.  John was driving a car, not a bakkie (pick-up truck).  He stopped at a road block.  You have to imagine the strong accents of both protagonists.

Policeman: Do you have any animals in the vehicle?

John [mistakenly believing he was a funny guy]: There’s a horse in the boot.

P: Please get out of the car and open the boot.

J: I was joking!

P: Please get out of the car and open the boot.

John got out of the car and opened the boot.  It was empty.

P: Hau!  The horse has gone!

J: No, I’m telling you: I was joking; there never was a horse.

P: Why did you let the horse go?

J: No, there wasn’t a horse; I was joking.

P: You know you’re not allowed to transport animals; now you have to find the horse.

J: I was joking.  Look, I tell you what: I’ll reverse my car up the road; I’ll drive back to the road block; and we’ll start again.

John did just that.  He reversed the car, then drove back to the same road block with the same policeman in attendance.

P: Do you have any animals in the vehicle?

J: No.

P: Okay.  You can go.

*

On the particular trip to Zimbabwe that I mentioned, the Hub took me and some of his customers to the Bamboo Inn in Harare.  At that time it was voted eighth-best Chinese restaurant in the world.  I believe it: I had never eaten Chinese food before (seriously), and everything was so delicious that my mouth fills with saliva whenever I think of it, even twenty years on.  But best of all were the spring rolls: no fat, no gunk, just fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients in a delicate case that I could have had for the whole of my meal if the Hub’s greedy guests hadn’t gotten there first.

The waitress was old but efficient, whipping away my plate almost before I was able to pick up my dropped chopsticks from the floor.  She asked me if I’d like black or groin tea?  Too shy to ask what groin tea was, I opted for the black.  It was years before I realised she was offering me green tea.

28 Responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring”

  1. Cindy March 20, 2011 at 07:55 #

    LMAO, too funny, will never look at green tea again without smiling!

    Like

    • Tilly Bud March 20, 2011 at 16:09 #

      I’m still not sure of the difference, if I’m honest. Perhaps you could blog about it?

      Like

  2. Cindy March 20, 2011 at 07:56 #

    *scans post again to find reference to spring*

    Like

  3. vivinfrance March 20, 2011 at 08:19 #

    rolls (to answer Cindy). The first Chinese food I ever ate was a spring roll, and they’re still at the top of my list of things I love to eat.

    Like

  4. earlybird March 20, 2011 at 09:10 #

    Had me smiling again there, girl! Good story. So the ref to spring was the roll, right? Confusing title (scratches head)

    Like

  5. Tilly Bud March 20, 2011 at 16:10 #

    I decided I was being too soft on my readers so I made that one a bit harder. I had a whole post planned on blossom and winter coats but that’s so last season.

    Like

  6. Shannon Sullivan March 20, 2011 at 16:55 #

    I love love love the story about the horse … nice way to start morning with a laugh

    Like

    • Tilly Bud March 21, 2011 at 12:18 #

      Thanks, and thanks for your visit. 🙂

      I tried to visit your blog but it took me to a survey site.

      Like

  7. Paula Tohline Calhoun March 20, 2011 at 17:10 #

    Tilly! Between you and Kate, I have not stopped laughing this morning! What great stories! Isn’t life grand?? “Groin” tea (did he get his English from an Aussie?) reminds me of the “orange juice” my mother ordered in a popular seafood restaurant one day. She asked if any was available (it was the end of August, close to an “R” month), and was told by the server that the bartender said not immediately on hand, but he would be happy to squeeze her some. What she had asked the waiter about was “oysters.” My family still laughs about that one whenever we recall it!

    Thanks again, Tilly – for your stories, which I can now retell, and for reminding me of one of my own! (BTW, is that Chinese restaurant still in business? I’ll add it to the list of places I want to visit some day!)

    Like

    • Tilly Bud March 21, 2011 at 12:20 #

      I don’t know; with things being so bad in Zimbabwe I doubt anyone can afford to eat out any more.

      Love the oyster story. 🙂

      Like

  8. nrhatch March 20, 2011 at 18:31 #

    Wonderful post, Tilly!

    A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse, of course . . . especially if it’s gone missing! 😀

    Like

    • Tilly Bud March 21, 2011 at 12:21 #

      Unless it’s a talking horse, of course, in which case it would only be polite for it to ring home and let us know it’s safe.

      Like

  9. slpmartin March 20, 2011 at 20:13 #

    I love the story about he car and horse…still smiling about that one.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud March 21, 2011 at 12:22 #

      The Hub tells it brilliantly with accents and gestures and he was gloomy about its prospects on the blog, so he’ll be glad to know you all love it.

      Like

      • Patti March 22, 2011 at 07:57 #

        It is a really funny story. I’d love to hear it with accents and gestures!

        Groin is a tricky word – my daughter runs track and early last season, she started to feel a pain high on her leg and when she showed her coach where the pain was, he told her she had a groin injury. She was unfamiliar with the word, so she heard “growing” and she listened to him respectfully, but with great confusion; she was baffled as to how she could have hurt her “growing” by running.

        Like

  10. TRKN March 22, 2011 at 00:08 #

    great story! :))

    Like

  11. Tilly Bud March 22, 2011 at 09:12 #

    Patti: 😀

    Like

  12. sunshineinlondon April 2, 2011 at 23:47 #

    This is hilarious, Tilly! Gotta love a Zimbabwean sense of humour – there’s nothing quite like it! I like how John reversed the car and just started the whole thing from scratch – I can so picture the scene!
    I’m sure we’ve been to Bamboo Inn too! There’s a fabulous Chinese restaurant in Bulawayo, called The Peking, and I’m pretty sure it’s still going strong. If not, it would only recently have closed.
    Sunshine xx

    Like

    • Tilly Bud April 2, 2011 at 23:50 #

      I’ll ask the Hub if he’s been because he often went to Bulawayo.

      How great that we have another connection!

      Like

    • Tilly Bud April 3, 2011 at 14:40 #

      If it’s a big fancy one, he’s been there; he went to a Chinese restaurant in Bulawayo but he can’t remember the name of it.

      He asks if you’ve ever been to Wombles?

      Like

      • sunshineinlondon April 5, 2011 at 21:15 #

        The Peking was a big restaurant – so your hub probably did go there. I am pretty sure I’ve been to Wombles – it sounds soooo familiar, but I just cannot picture it. Harare or Bulawayo?

        Like

      • sunshineinlondon April 5, 2011 at 21:22 #

        Then yes, I must have. I have a memory of amazing food, although I can’t picture the restaurant … We will have lots to chat about over our cuppa, won’t we? Yay.
        Sunshine xx

        Like

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I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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