It's another blazing hot day in Lethem and Ian, being the charitable chap he is, decided to drive us and the young, bubbly Canadian girls to a cafe (T & Ms) on the other side of town for ice-cream! Although once there, procuring ice-cream is no mean feat. How Ian keeps calm and cool during the following conversation, I will never know!
"Hello, we'd all like some ice-cream please!"
"You have no ice-cream?"
"We have no ice-cream."
"I was told you have ice-cream."
"No, no ice-cream."
"How about in there?" Ian points to a row of freezer cabinets behind the counter.
"We have no ice-cream."
"How about in that one, " Ian points to the first freezer cabinet, "You have ice-cream there?"
"No, no ice-cream in there."
"Do you have ice-cream in the other one? May I look?"
- silence - blank expression -
"Can we have some ice-cream?"
"There's nobody to serve ice-cream."
"Nobody to serve ice-cream?"
"No, nobody to serve ice-cream."
"How about you? Can you serve ice-cream?"
"No, I don't serve ice-cream."
"Well, can I serve myself? I can do it."
"No, you can't serve yourself."
"Well who can serve us ice-cream?"
"A lady serve ice-cream, she not here."
"The lady who serves ice-cream is not here?"
"No, not here."
"We have 5 people here who all want ice-cream. Can you find someone to serve us ice-cream?"
"Just a minute - she's here just now."
The ice-cream serving lady turns up; 2 chocolate scoops into a glass, a squirt of sauce and we're done! Shesh, talk about getting blood out of a stone! Why are some things soooooo difficult in this country!? I talk to Canadian Sarah over my ice-cream, which tasted very nice incidentally (the ice-cream, not Sarah). I only mention it because knowing I've just come off a ranch and out of the jungle she seems very proud of telling me how much of a home-stopping wimp she is!? Peculiar.
Chatting to Ian and other whities over a beer outside the CyberCafe, an old beat up pick up truck drives by. Someone comments that they once got a lift in it and it was a right scary ride because it doesn't have any brakes! We just start to laugh about it when... CRONK the truck spins 180°, veers off into a ditch and crashes into a metal fence. Amongst the minor commotion that follows, the driver staggers out drunk and scratches his head. Ian and I drive over to survey the damage - he's wedged into a fence post and his front bumper is jammed into a wheel. We ask what happened and offer to tow him out. Apparently his clutch stopped working and wouldn't engage, somehow causing him to crash!? He's in a fluster because he has to get home before dark - his headlights don't work either. We ask about the brakes - "oh they've not worked proper in weeks!" We break out the tow rope and pull him out of the ditch and straighten out his bumper in one single movement! How good are we? He thanks us and happily drives off, oblivious that his front wing is completely mashed up! The episode is no big deal and by means an isolated one either. This is Lethem.
Plans to go back to the Rodeo fizzle out when the Canadian girls decide to visit Boa Vista in Brazil instead. Shame really because the Rodeo is the one of the main reasons I'm still here. I decide not to go over alone - it seems to be a social event.
Night time comes and I get a 1-on-1 Hip Hop history lesson from Phantom for a few hours. He talks about how the industry tricked Nas, a very nice rapper, into having a bad boy image which just isn't the real him at all. At the same time a playlist from Nas starts playing on the telly. Phantom thinks it's a sign from Hip Hop Heaven, or something.
Posted by Steve Eynon