Saturday, June 28, 2008

An eventful trip and some sage advice

I took a few quick shots of our trip on the EN1 through Mozambique on our way to South Africa just a few days ago. In case the photo is not descriptive enough, note that besides the humungous truck bearing down on us, there are no shoulders on the road and there are pedestrians walking and vehicles stopping on the sides as well.

Add to that, the bad patches with nasty potholes, overloaded vehicles (often with no working head/tail lights) and it can be a treacherous highway indeed!

We’ve made this trip many times along this particular route (the only alternative is going through Zimbabwe, which isn’t such a great idea right now), and every trip seems to set itself apart from previous ones through some or other unusual incident. Oddly enough, this time the highway, traffic and pedestrians weren’t the problem. The problem was a case of road rage in Maputo.

I’ve witnessed my fair share of frustrated drivers over the years, either shaking their fists or making expressive hand motions at other drivers (yes, at times, even at me). But what I witnessed the other day in Maputo was the sort of thing I’d only read or heard about before.
A play by play account of the incident is tempting, but I won’t put you through that. In a nut shell envision this: we going the speed limit and a VERY ANGRY "Mr. T" shaped guy behind us who wanted to go much faster (and ? had been drinking?). He did his best to ram us off the road and at one point came to a dead stop in the road ahead of us and came out of his car, enraged, with explosive words coming from of his scrunched up face and arms swinging wildly in agreement. I’m not sure we interpreted ALL the messages accurately, but we got the main message: he was extremely ticked off at us for not getting out of his way. He didn’t look sick, had no labouring woman with him, and he obviously wasn’t a cop, so...personally, I think he’d had a bit too much “happy hour” and wanted the thrill of speed to boot. It took a few tricky manoeuvres to avoid and get around him, but Dwight did an impressive job of that. We only finally lost him when we approached a police check-point. Suddenly he needed to make an exit!

Our 27th wedding anniversary almost slipped by yesterday unnoticed—that’s when you know there’s too much on your mind. Dad took us out for a nice supper which turned out to be a rather humorous event. We’d been to the place once before, so I was coaching dad regarding some of the menu items. “The pumpkin soup, with its cream and spices, is wonderful. Oh, and under main dishes, the “potjie” would be very good too, dad. It’s a unique type of stew with vegetables. VERY good.” When our host came to tell us the evening specials he listed the potjie as made from venison (Kudu) along with other delectable ingredients. My dad’s smile caught mine across the table...that was exactly what we were going to have! Well, the pumpkin soup was stupendous and filling, but the much-anticipated potjie, sad to say, rather resembled mud. The lumps of meat that clung to large bones were layered with fat, and when we finally did manage to detach a piece to chew, it certainly fought back! (Sudden flash-back of the road rage gentleman.) As for flavour, the little there was left much to be desired. After about 6-10 very brave mouthfuls of the stuff, both dad and I had had enough. Thankfully the soup had been good and quite filling, but now, it was time to go home. The waitress brought my leftovers in a take-away container, which I decided to leave right where she put it. I have no dog or anyone else here to feed, and I sure didn’t want any more! This anniversary would be memorable for, if nothing else, that meal alone. As we left, I wondered if dad, walking behind me, would pick up my “left-behinds” and present them to me just outside the restaurant with a knowing grin and a witty comment. Thankfully he didn’t, but we had a great laugh at the thought anyway.

Today we head to Johannesburg since Dad’s flight leaves tomorrow morning. We’re sad to see him go, but happy that he can be back home again after so long away.

I’ll sign off this time with some advice from recent experience:
1. Stay out of the fast guy’s way
2. If you can’t avoid the fast guy with the volatile temper, be ready for some fancy manoeuvring
3. Beware the delectable, exotic, too-good-to-be-true item on the menu--it likely is too good to be true

4. Laugh, whenever possible



Heather & Rick said...

hey lynn... your desscription of the angry mozambiquan had me laughing.. did he have mr' t's jewelry too???? Glad you are ok though... hope to chat again soon!

Russoft said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Who is Mr. T?? Yeah, I'm bad for ticking people off. When I notice someone tailgating me, I generally ease off on the gas and let them frustrate themselves even more. It's fun. I even smile in the rearview mirror at them if I'm in the mood for ticking someone off.

Happy anniversary!

Heather & Rick said...

ARE YOU SERIOUS?? You dont know who Mr. T is????? oh goodness... sigh. not knowing who strawberry shortcake is is one thing.. but MR. T????? He was my HERO! This is so sad.

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

I like your advice Lynn :)
Love you,

Peter said...

Hi Lynn Lagore,

I saw the words "serve" and "ministry" and am guessing you are a Christian. May the good Lord bless you and your family.

Thanks for leaving a comment in my post How yo link from one post.. and for your kind words. Glad the post helped you. However please note that the above blog is not so frequently updated and do not have as much information on Blogger as the more popular Blogger Tips and Tricks.

BTW I am sure you have read the book Purpose Driven Life. I aim to author a book myself inspired by Purpose Driven Life titled Dream Driven Life (not religious), hoping you have some ideas on what kind of content I should put in. I am slowly trying to get the structure of my planned book.

Peter Chen Blog*Star
Kuala Lumpur Legacy (KL/Legacy)