Friday, 28 May 2010
Friday 28th May 2010
Today was to be a day for resting. I was not that keen to spend the day at home to be honest. I didn’t rush to get up, showered, it must have been about 9.45 and followed by breakfast, cornflakes and toast with jam today about 10.30. NEPA was kind and the air con stayed on keeping me cool. I was also blessed with good internet access (not as slow as it normally can be here) so I was able to upload photos and do bits and pieces there.
At around 1.30 I decided that rather than go completely stir crazy in my room, I would sit outside. It’s not so much a garden as a paved side way. The family has a dog, white fluffy about the size of my dog back home (albeit slimmer and younger) that up until now has never been keen on me or rather it has liked my ankles and gone for them every time it saw me. It often had to be seen off by the children, whenever I came in from outside, or shouted at by Mama. Today I decided I was going to sit out and we would get on. As he ran up to me I showed him I was not afraid and was in charge (I thought that’s meant to work). He sat glaring at me and I offered my hand, after a while he came over eventually giving his paw to me and I stroked him. At last we were friends and I was able to enjoy sitting out, but as I went in to grab my phone he still went for my ankles, a playful thing I’m sure!
Emma (my older daughter) skyped me and we had a chat whilst the dog who is now very friendly kept nudging me and jumping up to get my attention. That was until Mama shouted at him and showed him a stick, he then laid down quietly. When the children came home, the driver took me to meet Angela at her work place.
The evening traffic was bad, we arrived and waited for Angela to finish work. Angela had generously offered to buy me material and have me and my daughters something made. So when she was out we went to a shop to buy material, this was where Angela has her hair done, and I chose three patterns from about six. We than went to the tailors, not a grand shop as it might be in the UK, there are many tailors here as many people have their clothes made by hand especially traditional clothes and they are far cheaper than in the UK, which is why I bought my material back to be cut and made. There were children running around barely clothed themselves in an area similar to that of Mafoluku. They may be poor but the clothes they make are beautiful and they are very good seamstresses.
We then made our way through the very busy rush hour traffic to a grocery shop that has a good reputation locally, run by a husband and wife with good service to its customers, which even Angela said was rare here. We grabbed some roasted corn from a street seller as a snack and then drove to the Chinese to grab some Singapore noodle to take away. As the driver and every other driver on the road drove from side to side dodging the huge pot holes, it made me think of the few back home after the bad weather that everyone complains of. Here they are everywhere from side roads to major roads some times you zig-zag along to avoid them.
As we made our way back home, an ambulance came along the road with lights and sirens going and no one moved it just sat in the traffic like the rest of us unable to make its way through. No one seemed to be thinking that this might be someone dying or that it was going to an accident. Femi only said yesterday that if you call an ambulance or fire engine they sometimes never even arrive or at best can take ages. This obviously is one of the reasons, no one sees it as a priority or urgent, something that could save lives, again I think this is down to education and ignorance. I would imagine the use of these emergency vehicles has been abused and so people don’t believe it is really urgent. They are not regulated and managed like our services. We in the UK know if we dial 999 whatever we need should be there within minutes wherever we are, and if it wasn’t we would want answers to why not.
Eventually we made it home it was now dark but only just seven o’clock, only one road I noticed had street lights, shops were often lit with single hanging bulbs. The roads were still bustling with people the evening trade goes on later here. When home I was welcomed by the children and sat in my room to enjoy my Singapore noodles followed by mango. I played online hangman with Beth and then Battleships with the help of the three musketeers here, which all got a little too excitable and our own battle commenced here for button pressing duties! Soon it was goodnight Beth and goodnight Bolu, Sola and Nimi and the peace and quiet of my room.