Friday, 1 January 2016

The campsite toilet & the incandescent man. Kenya 1991.

A man got very angry with me, by the side of a pool, exactly 25 years ago. Mrs Steve and I were in Kenya in January 1991 and I’ll tell you about our livid friend in a moment. But before we could relax poolside, we had to put up with privations, going to see African animals. I worked in a travel agency and although we got cheap flights, the spending money was our own cash. So we booked a budget safari.
Kenyan safari on the cheap. January 1991 
And we got to the campsite on the first day. Well, I say ‘campsite’ but that’s perhaps an exaggeration, especially given the state of the toilet. Well; I say ‘toilet’ but it was a massive hole in the ground. Well, I say ‘ground’. And that’s what it was. 

I remember seeing a Japanese tourist, obviously at her wit’s end, running into an open field, dropping her jeans and parking a large one then and there in front of me, twenty yards away. People have asked how I could have possibly have watched, but, Your Honour, it all happened so quickly.

The problem for Mrs Steve is that she too wanted to ‘go’. At night; when you fear that hungry lions may be roaming around. We left the tent, clutching a rudimentary torch, and then Mrs Steve had to make like our Japanese friend and basically let go a few yards away from the canvas. It was practically touching cloth.

And I couldn’t resist shouting, just as things were coming to a nice conclusion: ‘Lion!’ The result was that Mrs Steve panicked and trod in it. She was wearing flip-flops and poo squelched up her leg. I told her that she had to stick the limb out of the flap of the tent all night. I said it might even give the lion something to gnaw on.

To recover, we sought luxury. In the resort town of Malindi, we headed straight for a hotel and its pool; and a couple of British families were there. I did that thing where you duck under water and just before your body disappears, you overhead-bicycle-kick a ball to show off your skill.
The pool in Malindi. Don't look back in anger
This British holiday-maker was standing by the side of the pool and the ball I’d kicked smacked him right in the face. 

As I surfaced, he was shouting: ‘You fucking bastard! I can’t fucking believe it! What the fuck do you thing you were doing, you fucking wanker?’ I said: ‘I’m so sorry.’ He said: ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck!’

And a kid from the other family asked me: ‘Is that your Dad?’