Tuesday, 7 December 2010
You are the bumbling tourist (2)
It is 10am. As you are finishing your late breakfast, you receive an urgent invite to the palace of the powerful local Chief for some local chop (food). Although you are full to the point of bursting, you are aware that to turn down such a kind offer would be seen as a slight. Besides which, the Chief has already provided exceptional hospitality recently. At the palace, you carefully select a modest portion of recognisable foodstuffs and accept the offer of a large beer. However just as you are squeezing in the last mouthful of chop, two things happen simultaneously: a) your wife slides a large and unidentfiable lump of something from her plate onto yours; and b) the Chief himself comes over to offer you more chop from the bowls. You are aware that finishing all this food and the beer will make you sick, however to refuse would be rude and offensive to your host. The history of visitor sacrifices has already been mentioned in conversation. What do you do?
Answer: There is no easy answer to this, but the main thing is that you come out smelling of roses. Accept the chop and engage the Chief in conversation. You discover that the he has to attend an appointment relatively soon. Time waste by picking at the food and speaking a lot. The Chief soon makes his excuses and leaves, and you insist that you must stay to finish your beautiful meal. Once he has departed in a flurry of ceremonial cloth, quickly guzzle the main staple (the beer), push the plate to the side, offer the remains to the servants and head off with the wife. The time-wasting risks a yellow, but the Chief now thinks you enjoy his company and his food and the wife has no choice but to award brownie points for digging her out of a hole. Nice one.