good lord. it's holidays and i haven't written for a week. . .apart from signing cheques. i have also discovered, that left to my own devices, i am crap at managing time. or actually achieving anything. i feel pressured without deadlines. how fucked up is that? three weeks later and i am still wondering if lisbeth salander killed everyone? i cannot get to the end of the frikken book. perhaps its the thought of starting the next one, which i know is gruelling. a True Story about an abused girl who spiralled into schizophrenia.
i have found myself at a complete loose end. or stuck on a hamster wheel of coffee, cigarettes, riding and OPK's. (other people's kids). why do they keep coming back? i am so horrible to everyone. added to this is my startlingly new and menial (to the point of wanting a satellite to plummet down and kill me) task of being a taxi driver for sub adults. for free. because i have to. i drive around arusha town, from A to B to X to C squared, which is treacherous at the best of times. now made worse by the The Toyo. http://toyomotorcycle.com/the toyo is a cheap Chinese chromed monster motorbike recently imported into tanzania. (remember when china bought africa at the beijing conference for a song? what a day that was. whoopee) everyone has one. a toyo. except me. i have adamantly and loyally stuck with a toyota.
the toyo is the new taxi in town. cheap, shiny, fast and infinitely mobile in heavy traffic. which would be perfect except that not many people have any experience in riding a motorcycle in these parts. a ward at mt meru hospital has recently been re named Toyo Ward because of the frequency of casualties caused by the irreverent use of the Toyo Motorcycle. they are not bicycles. but are ridden in a similar carefree fashion. driving in town, managing The Toyo Factor, has taken on a whole new dimension. rather like a computer game. i'm still "in" though. no hits taken, yet. my friend natasha isn't. she hasn't been quite as lucky. she was hit on the streets on friday whilst crossing the road to the doctors with her friend, who, we discovered yesterday, has tick bite fever and not an urinary infection, as diagnosed. (warning: everyone here has urinary infections which sort of eventually morph into malaria, tick bite fever or tryps). she was fortunate. my friend natasha. she escaped with two stitches in her lip, a graze on her elbow, a bump on her head and a rather bruised foot where the bike rode over her. still. she's "out". (the toyo game. game over. new game? new level?)
she made quite a sight, it must be said, wandering marginally dazed around the car park at shopright (affectionately known as shoplift), looking like Dracula after a good feed. pale with blood streaming down her chin, onto her pretty shirt and smiling grimly.
hill life has become as treacherous as town. there is no where to turn to. i am sharing the space with two pre pubescent boys and one seven year old girl who is obsessed with fairies in jars and acts like my god. i can't do anything wrong without her knowing. it's exhausting being watched all the time. where are you going? what did you say? who are you talking to? you have a message on your phone. you can't say that. wear this. what are you going to wear? what are you looking at? why? where? perfume. now.
i. am. watching. you.
even in my sleep.
in your face.
to top it all, at a hill dinner precisely three nights ago (my god has insisted i am precise. i am not allowed to say "the other day" EVER.) i was informed by my gracious and divine friend and neighbour that My Boys Had Cut Her Boys Swing Down, with knives, when everyone was away. their little sister aka my god spilled the beans. "oh yeah. my brothers cut your swing down. they told me." when the perturbed (understandably) mother challenged them, my sons made a weak, transparent and thoughtless attempt to try and blame The Poor children. so not only did they do this ghastly deed but then lied and tried to blame the innocent, defenceless impoverished masses. good god! whatever for, for christ's sake? i became so preoccupied with this news that i had to leave the dinner immediately after death by chocolate pudding. i remained calm on entering the home, where they sat with flat caps and pimples listening to preposterous music. i magnificently managed to thwart the wild, screaming witch mother, who was growing like the green Incredible Hulk inside of me, bursting through its T shirt. through devious and extremely sophisticated methods, i managed to wangle out a tearful confession from second born (as pictured above). on being asked "but why? why this pointless act?" his answer: " because they annoyed me." oh. so if someone slightly annoys you, just go and damage their lovely things while they are away? right. i see. makes perfect sense. should i be worried?
they are now demanding spray paint for graffiti. the bakers are away. i fear for their house.
it is precisely half past ten in the morning and they are STILL asleep. apart from my god who is away visiting. doubtless i will have to report, in detail, everything i have said and done, if she hasn't already psyched it out of me, when i collect her. best i start making notes then. yay. a dead line. i feel safe.