All entries for Sunday 19 December 2004

December 19, 2004

Kenya (forget Norway!)

hey all! just returned from a fortnight's safari holiday in kenya, which was totally amazing…travelled from nairobi to samburu, and onto the masai mara and to treetops, spending a few days in zanzibar to chill out at the end! saw all the animals i could possibly have imagined (apart from a cameleopard) including lions, cheetahs, leopards, buffalo, flamingoes, giraffes, zebras and elephants. we had some very close encounters too, with several animals coming right up to our truck to check us out. zanzibar was also an amazing place, like nowhere else i could imagine, a totally bizarre paradise! (the airport is particularly, terrifying special. in fact, talking of airports, i had a lot of time to kill in the kenyatta airport in nairobi on the way home, and i heard a story that a guy's been living there for six months after having renounced his kenyan citizenship for british, but having been denied access to britain…the mind boggles. the only thing that could make that situation any worse would be the impending arrival of tom hanks. catherine zeta jones might be an improvement, though.) obviously, travelling to another continent did not exempt me from the multifarious train of loons who insist on following me wherever i go; resulting in my encounters with these nutters…

1. 'brenda and mark' from god knows where
brenda and mark were on the same safari trip as us, and they really weren't happy about it at all. neither of them seemed to be remotely interested in animals – in fact, they seemed to harbour a passionate grudge against wildlife – and so they had a thoroughly miserable time, which they insisted on expounding at every possible opportunity. brenda's favourite topic of conversation was her hair; mark's favourite topics were dead animals, and his mobile, earning him the nickname 'that bones and phones guy.' to the best of my recollection, one of my favourite conversations with brenda and mark went a little like this…

Eating dinner with my parents in the hotel restaurant. Enter Brenda and Mark, stage left, looking thoroughly irritated.

Me + parents: Brenda and Mark! How are you?
Brenda: Ech…no so good, you know.
Mark: Ech.
Me: Did you enjoy safari today?
Mark: Ech…no so good. I like to see a kill.
Mum: A kill?
Mark: Yes…is funny. The violence on the films I am not liking. But the animals they kill each other? Ech, ech! I am liking.
Me: Hmm.
Brenda: I hope the food, it will be better tonight. Last night, horrible it was.
Me: Yes!
Mark: Ech, horrible, all this hotel food. Today, not so good.
Me: But…we saw a family of lions…and a herd of elephants walked right in front of us…
Brenda: Not so good.
Dad: Lots of good photo opportunities today!
Mark: Ech, I do not have a camera.
Me: Oh.
Mark: Hoping I am to see a kill. Or at least many bones.
Me: Oh!
Mark: This rural Africa I cannot believe. Nowhere to charge my phone even there is.
Mum: Oh jesus, he's going to start talking about the phone again.
Mark expounds at length about his stupid mobile phone. the food arrives.
Mark: Do not eat that, it will be horrible.

2. Yvette from Manchester
Yvette was one of the most startling looneys I have ever met. She claimed to come from Manchester and from Poland (don't ask how) and to be a ballet dancer, and SHE WOULD NOT STOP TALKING. she talked and talked and talked until my ears started to bleed, and then she continued to talk. she constantly wore a horrible, floppy, wide-brimmed polka dot hat which made me want to dismember her. she had a face like a brick, and a laugh like the texas chainsaw massacre. she also had a truly overwhelming gift for making completely inappropriate comments. here are some examples…

My first encounter with Yvette. The scene - drinks in hotel bar. Enter Brenda, Mark, and Yvette.
Brenda: This is Yvette! Eimear, good it will be for you to chat to someone of your own age, no? Yes?
She's not my age, she's about 35, and she looks terrifying. But alright. Yvette suddenly starts making a horrible spluttery laughing sound...all eyes to Yvette...
Yvette: Heeee! Sorry. Hee! I was just thinkin…I don't even know where I'm going next! Hee. I'm mad, me! Tell you what, though. This Africa's a bit much, innit?
Me: Yes..ha ha ha.
Yvette: I mean, I've done it all, me! Poland, France, the lot. We have this lovely Christmas meal we make in Poland. It's got 36 bacon rings and spinach and…
this continued for quite some time
Yvette: Tell you what, though, bit weird in this Africa business, innit?

Playing cards in hotel lounge with parents...simultaneous aversion of eyes as Yvette makes her entrance. Luckily, she doesn't spot us, and heads off to annoy some poor middle-aged guy...
Yvette: Eeeh! You're a bit old for this safari malarky, aintcha? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! So I've got this guy at home, he's meant to be my boyfriend, yeah, but I dunno. He's really into me, yeah, but I'm like – boyfriend? What boyfriend? Aaaah ha ha ha!
Me: Is he tied up in your basement?

Chatting to an African waiter...enter Yvette...
Yvette: Eeeeh! They're strange, ain't they, these Africans! Eeeeh!
Me: Er…would you like a drink?
Yvette screaming at waiter: Eeeh! Coke, mister! COKE!
Waiter: Hmmm.
Yvette: Here! Can you say…LOVELY JUBBLY? Go on! Lovely jubbly!
Waiter: Lovely jubbly.
Yvette: Eeeeeeeeeeeh! Never thought I'd see the day! Eeeeh!

Diners drop cutlery in amazement as an adult genet walks straight through the hotel restaurant...
Yvette: Eeeh! I used to have a coat that looked just like that!

After a game drive
Yvette: Eeeh! How about that, eh? Eeh!
Me: Yeah, it was amazing!
Yvette: Eeeehh…did you see that half-dog half-fox?
Me: What.
Yvette: That half-dog half-fox! It was living in a hole with its babies!
Me: The HYENA?!

thoughts of these people are wearying me…more later!

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