i carried a watermelon

last night i went out dancing with the girls in order to bid farewell to one of the longer-serving volunteers, morgane, who’s been a great mentor.  she’s now moving to tanzania where she’s got a real job waiting for her.  we will miss her, but hopefully she’ll visit often.

about ten of us went to a club called the new cadillac, where black lights make white shirts gleam, and the floor is carpeted with neon-print proclamations of ‘new cadillac’ in a snazzy font.

also in attendance last night was the one and only ewen mcgregor, just stopped in on his way to cape town by motorcycle.  very cool.  the man is much shorter in person, with a big head and is not nearly as attractive as he looks on screen.  very nice guy though.  cathryn and i went up to talk to him.  he shook our hands, flashed his winning smile, asked us what we were up to here, and told us about his motorcycle trip, which is being filmed for a movie.

i asked him what he thought of the neon carpet.

why, you ask, of all the erudite things one might say in such a moment, did i choose to remark on a gaudy carpet?  it was a bit of a watermelon moment i’m sure he’ll always remember me for.

after a five minute chat, we left him to dance with the handful of young beautiful rich expat women in the club that recognized him, and returned to the mosh-pit of gropy african men.

interestingly enough, i was more popular last night than ewen.  i got swarmed by at least 15 men and a few women asking my name and nationality and occupation and tastes in music and wanting to dance with me.  ewen only got five or six.  none of the africans knew who he was.  i explained to one rwandan guy that here was a real millionaire, a celebrity, a star.  the rwandan just shrugged and asked me for my phone number.

in this country i am a celebrity every day.  on taxi-buses, people i’ve never met will call me by name (a friend of the father of a student of mine or something).  everywhere i go people approach me and ask about my life.  just because i’m white.  and when i’m not in the mood for it, i’ll put on headphones or sunglasses (reading a book is no deterrent) and try to block out the fans as much as possible.  so i understand how ewen must feel back at home.  but here, he’s just like me.

~ by aliciawolcott on July 8, 2007.

2 Responses to “i carried a watermelon”

  1. i’ve started telling this story at parties for you. its traveling through the grapevine like wildfire, or perhaps less appropriately, like the nipple piercing story.

    see you-en (get it? ewan?) in a few days…

  2. Lisi – this was a great entry. you not only have a gift of writing, but a sense of humor that i enjoy. hope all is well and have fun when Sara visits.

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