No Such Charity Here!
I was out of ideas today, and thought of all possibilities to chase for my blog.
My workout sessions.
I am kidding about the workout, I quit that ages ago. As for my mum, well I suppose it’s enough that I told you about how she exiled me and relationships are not meant for blogs. Especially mine unless I want it to end, which I do not. So really, I was out of ideas before I even looked at the keyboard.
Another no blog day, I despaired. A glooming predicament not having anything to blog is, especially for me since I always feel obliged to.
Two minutes after this thought and a concurrent chat with N. N who by the way has it in her head that my head can wrap itself around anything non-flippant. N who I love so much because she lets me talk about myself.
Anyway it occurred to me that, chronicling my Kombi odyssey as I am prone to do these days. It’s not so much that they are all I have to write about, but the introspection they afford allows my overactive brain to simply observe and take in what’s going on around me. My unflinching gaze and capacity to stare at people helps me a bit in this.
My kombi passed by -for want of a better term- a charity house today. Outside was a very long queue of dirty street urchins of all shapes and sizes, mainly boys though. I suppose contrary to popular belief boys are more likely to take to the street. I think perhaps girls try it and after a while give up and go back home.
Nevertheless each of these street kids had a large chunk of bread clenched in a tight fist, uniformly so. These made me think that perhaps they were afraid someone would come and steal the bread from them.
What impressed however was that each chunk of bread had what seemed to be a thick layer of Sun Jam, bright red it shone in the morning sun…quite impressive.
An old white woman was dishing out creamy white tea into containers that ranged from cut out plastic bottles to tin cans (which mama always said maid food bad and notions of lead poisoning did cross my mind).
No one in the kombi said a word as we passed by this house, but as soon as it was behind us conversation began again. One woman seemingly offended blurted out,
“Wasn’t she banned?”
For what? I asked myself, and settled back in haughty contemplation of this woman’s telling attitude. Are Hararians that uncharitable? Do we hate out country folk so much?
One woman turned to her seatmate and asked wonderingly,
“Does she serve white tea?”
“My, that’s a long queue.”
And so began a conversation centred on what it is she hoped to gain, “why on earth does she do it?” and one old man in front of me, eager to get his two cents in announced that he had seen a white man in the queue. a statement that caused quite a furore, looking at the people around one would have thought their heads would fall off, what with their head shaking and neck craning to catch one last glimpse of this white man anomaly.
What I took away from this 5 minute experience, when I finally disembarked was that not only were Zimbabweans a most uncharitable people but they held the belief that white people were not allowed to be poor.
Almost sacrilegious was the notion that one person would get up as early as 5 am to help, strangers, “dirty ones at that,” As one woman pointed out disgustedly.
Lord forbid that you should go out and beg before you’ve taken a shower!