Friday, June 26, 2009

of all the gin joints...

serengeti stars by dom lever,
do not steal. or i will send you to mogadishu.

do you see the southern cross? just above the broken arms of this dead and dying tree? upright and tilting ever so gently to the left. i like dead trees. and, as you know, i am presently obsessed by star scapes. bear with me, oh bestest beloveds, things could be worse.

it's friday night. and i could be donning little sequinned dresses, feather boas, marlene dietrich red lipstick and silver sparkly eye shadow and hitting the town, doing the occasional casual tequila body shot en route. while driving, smsing. ya know, multi tasking. just because it's friday. and head to, aherm, the, aherm, god, the maasai camp? the greek club? the lively lady? stiggis?she mumbles in very small voice. like when i admit to liking abba.

i mustn't be mean about them. the arusha night spots not abba. they are, all four, arusha institutions (not abba), where many murky glorious moments have been spent. one which leaps to mind, oddly enough, was when the 12 year old pilot tried to pick me up at maasai camp. a beautiful young thing who had been flying weapons of war into darfur sudan for a, (should i even divulge?) russian aviation company. this in itself a conversation stopper. he was on "off" (taking some leave) when he bumped into me. and he was a mess. mad. obviously. he courageously, and almost immediately, tried to convince me that every woman wanted a shining knight on a white horse to rescue her. my eye brows arched. he said i looked like i needed rescuing. . . .my eye brows ticked the cob webbed ceiling. really? well let me tell you something, darlin', i smirked...

he was a mess. and clearly deluded. he had been paid well. but the weight of his actions weighed heavily on his bright young thing shoulders. i thought about rescuing him but instead we dropped him at the impala roundabout never to be seen again. julie and i drove home at one speed, over all the speed bumps, in the middle of the road into a blazing dawn, fried eggs, a hazy sunday morning and a mammoth brain cell killer maasai camp hangover.

what? oh. we were driving a toyota.

my moment of glory at stiggi's was when i single handedly and alone picked a fight with seven scottish road builders who had just climbed kilimanjaro. the climb had not dented their sense of well being. they were looking deep into a whisky bottle. i would like to say they all wore kilts and shoes laced up their very strong log throwing legs. but no. they sported gold chains and bad hair styles. some of them were, i remember, red headed. ish. it was the evening when i said to myself, on finding myself alone and a little bored again, (never a good combination, in my experience):

tsk tsk god janelle, don't be afraid to go out on your own! you can do it! blah blah.

oh okokokok i answered.

and i took myself all the way to the maasai camp. it's all the way on the otherside of town. it's miles away. like an 80km round trip from the ngorobobs. ok. say 70kms then. no one was there except the barman. so we had a few. well i did. and if i rightly recall, so did he. and then popped into stiggis on my way home. it wasn't late. but i was feeling very brave and in need of conversation. i swaggered in, and there they were. the road builders. i sat around the corner of the bar from them. and eavesdropped their conversation. they were rabbiting on in what vaguely resembled english, about how rubbish the tanzanian roads are. (true. but still) i think that's where the argument began. the owner had to rush in and save me after i said something like oh please scotland belongs to england or something careless like that.

how happy am i to be sitting here tonight? under the southern cross. tucked up on the hill. far away from terrible moments like those. and i haven't mentioned the time i argued with the askari outside what i thought was the colobus (a hideous nightclub near maasai camp filled with cheap neon gin, bad music and thieving whores) entrance gate, because he wouldn't open up and let me in...i pleaded formidably until he stuck a machine gun through the window. i politely reversed, smiling and nodding very fast and garbeling asantesanaasantesanaasantesana and realized it was the coca cola bottling plant next door. still. the machine gun was a little over the top, i thought.



i like to see the sparkly dress twinkling in the corner though. the boa draped temptingly nearby. but, sigh, for another friday night. some other time, she wistfully muses.

Kitchen Board: Friday Night: some time in june 09

list building up for a monday. like the carbuncle on my arm. see two barnacles below board. their performance last night was , well, moving.


toodely toot then, y'all. bisous X X X sparkly friday night ones... x.j


nmj said...

okay, missy, i am prepared to overlook your comment about scotland belonging to england, those road workers sound obnoxious as hell, and gold chains and bad hair are never forgivable. i love your starscapes, they make my heart ache. in fact, they remind me of colour plates from a heidi story book i had when i was a child, the stars against the midnight sky i still remember x

Lola said...

I love this blog. And I hardly ever laugh out loud while reading posts.

This was simply superb, Janelle.
I am so making this a regular appointment.

And as far as watching the sequinned dress gathering dust in the corner over there... welcome to the club.

Ciao from the Roman Tequila Body Shots All-Time Champion,

PS: seeing the southern cross again in that picture beamed me up to Africa in an instant. How I miss seeing the southern cross... how I miss Africa.

Elizabeth said...

But Scotland does belong to England doesn't it?
And if you want rubbish roads go to Rajasthan...
happy weekend.

family affairs said...

What a gorgeous twinkly sky to match your gorgeous twinkly dress and next time you feel like that just get your gorgeous twinkly self on a plane to stay with me. Lx

Val said...

you are more sparkly than the dress, and the southern cross! and i would have loved to see the barnacles in action xxx

Janelle said...

ah thank y'all...for popping by. its always quiet on a week-end...and jeez lulu would LOVE to pack the sparkly and come spend a wild week-end chez toi...i can only begin to imagine what we would get up to...we would probably only make it as far as the local...!? love ya xxx j

Chimera said...

NMJ says it! And i love the photo and the fluid inspired prose as ever! reading your work is always like dancing!
T xx
p.s. love the fat hyeana

Janet said...

wishing you a week of stars, glitter, twinkles, tequila and not too many kilometres

Lori ann said...

I Want to go to Mogadishu. Can i borrow your dress?

word veri : shieti, a new way for you to spell it!

karen said...

I love the sound of the mad nightclub life but I think I would also much rather be sitting under the southern cross, up on the hill! Beautiful starry photo, too x

tam said...

Byurraful as ever my dear sparkly one. Ooh, I can vouch for the bored and alone observation. And I've seen those sparkles turn to sparks and ignite many a dreary gin spot my dear. Catching up now, after being offline for a while, and yes, I got the msg from Mo about my scarce commenting..
haha. word veri is micsjun. But you mustn't you know. it gives you a hangoer. which is scottish for a sore head.

Mickle in NZ said...

So happy to see the Southern Cross from your skies, via your camera, dear Janelle.

My life here seems bloody boring after what you've written here.

But I'm still so very happy to see the Southern Cross from your place.

Your incredible place in the World, your incredibleness in my world. I still wonder at your gift with words, the amazing scenes you paint with words, the glimpses of a very foreign land to me that you then bring back to reality with the kitchen blackboard.

hey - I drink Milo. Vim is a long lost product here.

Janelle, you keep me in a world of wonder, showing me a wonderous place. Oh - and kind of liking horses at last. I still prefer domestic and/or domesticated cats. Especially those like my wussy purrball.

Sincere care and huggles, much laughter and a glass or three of a pleasant Southern Hemisphere wine,

Michelle/Mickle, xxx and gentle snoring from Zebbycat.

family affairs said...

Where are you ? Lx

Janelle said...

aw thanks y'all for popping by, i know i have been quiet. last week of school and all...nearly over! woohoo...hols in sight now...and mickle..lovely to hear from you again.! xxx j

Tessa said...

Late to the gin joint. Which is prolly a good thing. Much enjoyment in retrospect.