PICTURE THIS - 002
La Douceur, my special treat for surviving this afternoon’s adventure, has dropped to second choice. Still has the best atmosphere but seems like by 1900/2000 hrs. ”where’s the beef?” Not here. Ordered some pork and will see what I get.
Bollywood on TV tonight. Indian actors don’t speak or move about much. He strikes a pose, she strikes a pose, and camera switches from one to the other. Music plays and occasionally the narrator makes a comment. Continues with minor changes in expression for several minutes and then the credits roll and the show is over. Have to admit it is better than Steve Urkel……
Party of ten adults and five very well behaved children at the large table. Three separate couples, one with young boy, occupy the tables to my left. The rain has stopped and the night air is cool, almost cold.
Party of thirteen came in and only table available seats six. By combining small round and my table with six and “Voila” we have table four fourteen. I find that it is fascinating that it is not necessary to speak each other’s language to co-operate in solving a problem. I move to another table and the dining room is now officially FULL. If anyone else comes in they must sit with me or on me…..
BTW The table I moved to is the guest of honor table on a raised dais overlooking two thirds of the dining area. The perfect place for a people watcher, I take full advantage of the opportunity.
My reward for this day’s accomplishment. About one in the afternoon I went for a ride on my 150cc Sanya moto-bike. Having no real destination in mind, I headed south and continued about forty kilometers to what I call “the eye of the needle”, a narrow pass cut into the side of the mountain. Going down the mountain you pass through with the mountain on your right and a thirty + foot column on your left separating you from the traffic coming up the mountain. It very much resembles the eye of a needle and is so narrow that some of the trucks coming down the mountain cross over to the oncoming traffic lane in order to negotiate the pass. A new road, stating about five kilometers further down the mountain, will eliminate this hazard someday. Meanwhile it is a challenge to round the bend and there it is. I had to turn around and come back up the mountain and thread it a second time in order to video tape it while riding one handed…
Often times when looking from my upper room I see clouds hung up on the mountain tops. Today I can feel the cold and wetness as one begins to settle on the mountain I am riding on. A few kilometers later it becomes evident that prudence calls for me to make a u-turn and head home. By the time I get back to the needle it appears that the mountain top has torn a hole in the bottom of this cloud and all of its water is leaking out on me.
Between the darkening sky and the downpour I can no longer safely see the potholes and at times the road itself. Ahead is a large area to the right of the road where truckers can pull over and park when they are tired or like now when visibility is nearing zero. As I slow down to look for shelter I hear someone yelling off to my left. Stopping by the side of the road I see that the call is coming from another “biker” parked under a one walled pole shelter about four meters square with a tin roof about six feet off the ground. Turning about, crossing the road, down an embankment and riding wet into the shelter I am out of the rain. Kind of.
In better weather this is someone’s booth in the market place. For now it shelters a strange group in the time of storm. The other occupants are an old man, a three-year old girl and two young Togolese with their moto-bike and me and mine.
We soon establish that conversation is not how we will pass the time. We share a bottle of water amidst the downpour and I take a couple of short videos of the rain and the encroaching flood waters at our feet. Already soaked, the cold starts to seep in with the breeze off the mountain. After half an hour the rain seems to have passed. I say good-bye and ride out through the small pond that has enveloped our shelter and finding an embankment the moto can climb I am back on the road.
Less than two kilometers later the rain returns, only in a more tolerable quantity. Already cold and wet I am determined to continue as long as I can see where I am going. Only twenty five kilometers to the traffic circle in Kara and a few more to home. I can do this. And, I do.
By the time I get to the circle the rain has stopped and even the muddy, potholed, washed out road to the house is a welcome ride at this point.
Home, hot shower, dry clothes, hot coffee and downloading pictures from wet but working camera.
The adventure continues. Did I mention that I love this place?
In Ecclesiastes Solomon observes that life is short, less than a vapor, in the scheme of eternity and God wants us to L I V E it> It is not to be wasted, but to be enjoyed as God’s gift to us. Praise God that after all of the years I have wasted He is allowing me to LIVE and to do it here in Togo, a place that I have come to love.
BTW Pictures and video of this day’s adventure should be on my blog by morning. Oh, my supper was a rather large breaded piece of pork, French fries, two Tonics, a cup of very strong black coffee and a vanilla pineapple ice cream dessert.
Did the thousand words first and then added the pictures anyway.