So there I was in all my splendour, for the first time in the land of the Queen.
Believe me the cold was the least that could bother me. I was happy to be in this fine land, I thought.
I have always admired the English, their rich history, football and even at times inspired by Gordon Brown. Now I have always told myself that one day I should have a piece of this culture, just to experience it, and my luck did come around.
All right, I was not inducted properly and naturally I did a few mistakes here and there. But that can all be forgiven. Nonetheless, the culture is what made me think of no other place than Windhoek.
Being fortunate enough to be there on work, I had to attend meetings one after another and as usual when attending conferences one always looks forward to food. To make it even more interesting we would be lunching with Her Majesty the Queen.
Well, I was dressed well, a good suit (even though it is was not tailored by those Asian gents, with that funny looking Toyota car), I even perfected my English. I took out the rudimentary long slur of our Namlish and made sure that the word “comrade” does not come any where near my discussion.
And then we set at our table, I felt important, my name was even scripted and placed at the table, where I was to seat. Sooner I took that chance to place my bottom firmly on the chair; I noticed a large confection of neatly arranged cutlery on my table.
“Mukuru Ua Ndje” where to start, now I pondered. Back home the only time I use a fork is when I did my fair share of duty in Kitchen for usually a quick pack of noodles with Shoprite mince, on all the other occasion I always find way to kaapana or the Baster Braaivleis Brigades at all the intersections in Khomasdal and Hochland Park.
So the trick, after observing my British neighbours, it to start on the outside go on the inside. That was not the problem, the menu or rather the food was.
“Wild mushrooms parcels with courgette and fine herb tagliatelle served on beetroot dressing that was the starters. Just to be courteous, I swallowed a few spoons and trust me at that point I wanted nothing of that sort of thing anymore.
I had to find an escape route fast and turned to my neighbour for a conversation. Well, it was going well until she asked me what my favourite horse was. It turned out that the lady next to me was a subject of her Majesty and she loved the horses. Call me crazy or something, but I was tempted to say :”Ali from Omaheke Region just took the coveted Windhoek July.”
I was stuck between two hard spots, conversation or to eat strange-looking food. I went against my better judgment and continued to chat with the British subject until dessert when we were served with some strange-looking apple dish and then she asked me whether we have any apples in Namibia.
Well, I had to be subtle and diplomatic, as was demanded of me and I said yes and all she could say was “Oh”
One part being hungry and not intelligently being churned to converse I opted for the food rather, but first was the menu and it said roast beef. At least I figured I can eat something that reminded me of home.
So they brought the plate and well let’s just say the meat was tiny in the first place, and in the other instances not cooked the kaapana style. For one I thought of all the chefs in St James Palace this is no way to prepare meat, why don’t you come to Namibia and we show you how to prepare meat well.
Needless to mention that after the British foods, my night at the hotel was spoilt by constant visits to the men’s room. After all, my constipation could not stop and I wished home was near.
It was going to be a very long week, I thought. But at least when asked I would say I had the pleasure of being invited to lunch by the Queen and you …
Welcome to 2008