A friend who has just moved to Kuala Lumpur posted on Facebook recently that she was getting a dab hand at using a catapult and marbles to fend off monkeys in the garden… ingenious I thought, but also exactly the sort of challenge we thought we might be facing here. (Not that I would have thought of marble-launching – very ‘Huckleberry Finn’.)
You see, before we moved, we had watched a You Tube clip of the President of Zambia who. whilst making an open-air speech in Lusaka was ‘anointed’ (to use a more polite expression) by monkeys frolicking in the trees above his head. We were under the illusion that there may be some interesting wildlife in our garden.
Alas, the only wildlife we have seen so far are; some admittedly beautiful little birds; some very small lizards; some even smaller spiders; one or two creepy-looking flying insects and that is all. The creatures which do not really count include peacocks, ponies and ducks at Kilimanjaro Cafe; a neighbour’s cat; and some stray dogs on the road. Oh and our own pests. I mean ‘pets’. The road names are convincing though: Kudu Road, Leopard’s Hill, Cheetah Lane, Reedbuck Road.
We have been assured that on the journey to Livingstone we could see baboons, elephants and all kinds of other creatures. The list includes a ‘who’s who?’ of snakes; black mambas, cobras and puff adders, just for starters. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see any of them close-up. Traditionally, when you visit or move somewhere new, people enjoy telling horror stories to scare the wits out of you, and especially out of your children (which is probably more fun). We’ve heard our fair share of these already. I’m comforted by my (possibly misguided) belief that they are mostly ‘tall tales’.
As an aside, just as I started writing this blog, we experienced our very first power cut. The previous inhabitants of this house coped admirably with the apparently frequent and long-lasting power shortages, however we are big softies and are waiting for a generator to arrive; and at this moment, it seems like a good idea. The power had only been off for half an hour, and already we found it a challenge. I hadn’t cooked dinner yet,and our stove is electric, so we ended up foraging in the fridge – luckily we had a cooked chicken to pick at. Homework was foolishly incomplete (some of it internet-based research), so we lit candles, abandoned everything else and resorted to a sing-along with the acoustic guitar. It was a bit of an alternative evening and, for me, a bit of a disappointment when the power came back on. I guess I’m a hippy at heart!
Nevertheless, I am looking forward to taking delivery of the generator.