Trip Start Jun 02, 2007
48Trip End Ongoing
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It's early morning and Papa has just finished his mandi in the old tin shed that all the Mamamia Bungalow residents must share, along with the big tin oil drums filled with questionable water for bathing and the squatter toilet that looks like it has seen better days.
"Pardon?" says Paul, a kindergarten teacher from England. Then he gets it before she has to explain. "Ah, no! No kaka, just a wee."
Mamamia is funny like that-a bit brazen, but always with that laugh that rings out through the trees, over the heads of the goats dotted over the hill, munching foliage
"Nyeh, nyeh," says a goat.
"Ah ha ha ha ha ha!" goes Mamamia's creaky little-girl laugh.
Papa sits placidly on the balcony with a freshly lit cigarette. Through the open door of the shed, Mamamia's washing is soaking in large black plastic bowls on the concrete.
I ask for a banana shake. Mamamia shakes her head. "No banana. Habis! Monkey very naughty! Monkey come on roof, steal Mamamia's bananas! Ooosh!" she says in disgust. "Mama, papa, brother, sister, baby! Many monkey!"
The little varmints made off with two whole bunches of bananas Mamamia had put outside. Just for a moment, she says, but a moment is all it takes for those puny opportunists to make their move.
Funny how humans are so like monkeys. For example, we all love bananas. While the monkeys are lounging and chittering in the trees, bellies bulging with bananas, Mamamia's guests, myself included, are disappointed over the lack of banana shakes and pancakes.
"Ayayayayaya!" shouts Mamamia, dancing and wiggling in the path, waving her arms around. She looks about four years old. Paul has emerged from the shed, nose wrinkled a little over the mandi situation.
"What is it, Mamamia?" he asks.
Her laugh ripples and squawks in the air. "A bug! In my dress!" she says, and giggles again, like a little girl.
Naughty Mamamia. After all these years, still such a flirt!