Sunday, March 13, 2005

Finally getting round to post something more here. Spent yesterday and today morning reading all the papers, trying to get a sense of whether the new president is showing signs of doing something good. Certainly some Ministries have been shaken up, but whether this is genuinely needed or just throwing out the old guy´s cronies and putting in your own its too early to say.

As for corruption, one of the provincial governors made a surprise visit to a bunch of Transport Police (the notorious white-shirted bloodsuckers who line the main roads and insist on their cut from public transport, private cars and South African tourist alike). He gave them a lecture that their games would have to stop. I imagine quite a few bricked it but only time will tell if they do what he say.

Meanwhile the never-ending round of more organized, high-level corruption cases which the newspapers manage to dig out continues. Up to now, they are all things which happened under the old administration but it is sad to see that the new guys all seem to share the same arrogant attitude towards the media as their predecessors. Whenever they are asked to put their side of the story, they always come back with one of 3 responses:
  1. I´ve got nothing to say, go away
  2. Its not my brief to talk about this, speak to [INSERT LETHARGIC STATE ORGAN HERE]
  3. I have just come back from holiday and I don´t know anything about this subject
Option 3 is a Moz classic but it is used a lot, especially by spin doctors, which is dissappointing as its their JOB to know what´s going on.

Anyway enough about politics, here is a quick precis of my party, in the style of a military briefing (at least how Tom Clancy makes them seem as I have never been in the military):
2000 hrs - Cameron, Nina et al. arrive to setup. Previous occupants dinner party still in full swing, although they´re supposed to be out by now
2100 hrs - Omar arrives, as do the speakers. Enough of the previouses leave to allow us to start setting up. Drunken previous runs through our patch and into one of our the massive speakers our DJ has setup, knocking it into flowerbed, then collapse asleep on the floor. Cameron asks Maitre d´ to kick him out before guests start arriving.
2200 hrs - food and drink finally setup as last of previouses leave.
2230 hrs - people start arriving (official start time was only 2100 so not bad!). Brazilians all strip off to speedos and jump in swimming pool, Mozs are more reticent
2245 - rains for a bit but soon stops, most people just keep on dancing
2300 - Maitre d´ tells Cameron I have to pay extra to use swimming pool. Cameron tells him to ´get te´ as this is not what was agreed. We eventually settle on paying half the normal price.
2400 - everyone gets drunker, and at Omar & Cameron´s insistence, strips to bikinis. Mozambicans forget earlier reticence and jump in pool, some of them spending the next 3 hours there chatting each other up.
0015 - beer runs out and Cameron drives off to night market to fetch more crates (REPEAT EVERY HOUR)
0030 - Cameron throws Edgar in the pool. Youssouf throws Cameron in pool. Youssouf throws Gabriel in pool. Cameron + Gabriel throw Youssouf in pool and jump on top of him. (REPEAT EVERY 10 MINS WITH DIFFERENT NAMES).
0100 - finally we cut the cake etc.
0230 - Maitre d´ tells Cameron we have to close up and leave at 0300. Cameron begs to disagree since that was not the deal when he signed the hire agreement. Eventually 0400 is agreed as a compromise.
0300 - servant comes up to Cameron saying that some randoms are beating them and trying to steal all the beer. Sure enough, they are not our guests but the drunken previous from 2100 and his mate. Cameron asks them to leave politely but is threatened in response. Cameron + judo team wrestle, shove carry and kick the previouses up the path and out the gate, while Maitre d´ and Security Guards mysteriously make themselves scarce.
0310 - outside the gate, previouses continue to threaten until one of the servants whose tooth they knocked jumps on one and punches his head into pavement
0311 - we pull servant off previous
0312 - previous stupidly starts fighting again
0313 -we let servant back onto previous, whose head meets pavement again
0314 - we pull servant off previous and previous, this time with my arm round his throat less gently than before, finally calms down
0317 - Maitre d´ finally reappears and reluctantly takes charge of situation so we can go back to party
0430 - all booze has finally and definitively been drunk, the girls have put their clothes back and we can close up. Colin who is ridiculously pissed is fished out the pool 3 times and eventually dissappears (we learned later that Marco as he was driving away remembered to turn back and get him).
0500 - Cameron, Nina, Neill and Bia carry 8kg of leftover food into our kitchen and collapse asleep

Right now I am going to run...

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