by Richard Stevenson
|Rosy Guest Inn
A knocking shop?
Not golf clubs
Road kill is it?
To avoid beatings
In a go-slow
In the bath tub
knocking shop: British slang for a house of prostitution
vulture heads: this is a literal observation, not surrealism! Vulture heads-and-necks are sold in the open market as a kind of hasty tasty fast food treat.
Daheru's business: Daheru was my miguardi ( corruption of English, my guard, a cat who sat on my doorstep with a quiver of poison arrows, supposedly guarding the premises.) He's found himself a little sideline selling water to the peasants from Walari Ward across the tracks.
Road kill: Hard to believe, but the description is one of a pedestrian in a white undershirt run over and pasted into the tarmac! A friend in Lagos reports the body was still there eight hours later! Of course, there is no ambulance service in Nigeria; the body needs to be claimed by a living relative.
To avoid beatings: Folks literally carry Timex watches and at least twenty dollars in a hip pocket in the event they are robbed ... so they don't get beat up by the thieves for not holding!
Go-slow: Nigerian slang for a traffic jam: routine on the Abuja-Lagos expressway.
Leventis: a large expat department store chain in Nigeria.
The old crooner in Harmattan: is, of course, Bing Crosby. A little disconcerting to hear "White Christmas" in the Sahel, but ironic since the harmattan winds from the Sahara create dust storms akin to fog -- not white out conditions exactly, but reduced temperatures and visibility. During Harmattan, the locals wear toques and Indian sweaters while Canadians are running around in shorts and sandals. The temperature is just balmy for them ;-).
Swish, swish: Sale is unfamilar with western plumbing and is literally using the toilet for a washing machine! I literally did find a chameleon in my bathtub one day, while using the knees-up--mother-Brown method of doing the laundry. ( There are no washing machines in Maiduguri. )
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