Of Hippos and Hookers
Last week I stayed at a lodge in the Masai Mara for work (hard to explain how this isn’t impossibly lavish, but off season conference rates are insanely cheap). One of the features of this camp is a watering hole filled with hippos, not 100 meters from my room. In fact, I was awakened each morning by a cacophony of rhythmic deep grunts and guttural sighs as they came in from their nocturnal graze and settled into the watering hole where they spend the day.
This kind of proximity to nature reminds me of a story I have been begging Brian to write up for SafariMama about a time he was at a hotel in Malawi, near the great Lake Malawi. The last day of his trip, he went out with the Malawi country office staff to a seedy bar and had a raucous time. (Brian used to drink too much – now he doesn’t drink at all.) After several hours of drinking he stumbled back to the room, crashed into bed was awakened in the wee hours of the morning by some noise outside and a knock on his door. When he went to answer it, he found a prostitute who had seen him at the bar, followed him home, and attempted to offer herself as “take-away.” He politely turned her away and went back to bed. A bit later, he heard more noise outside of his room and some knocking around on the porch. Annoyed now that this woman wouldn’t take no for an answer, he clambered out of bed, threw open the door and found a giant hippo on his porch eating the flowers in the planters.
When I heard this story, I asked him if it was possible that he was still so drunk that he had imagined the hooker had turned into a hippo.
No, he said. Alcohol works the other way.