On the way back from Zanzibar the other day. The plane’s just landed and as I’m getting my bag out of the overhead locker a lady I’d noticed earlier says to me
“No,” I say, “I’m not Phillipa”
My husband is elbowing me in the ribs
“Ow, what are you doing? Huh? You’re muttering, I can’t hear you”
I turn back to the lady. “I’m not Phillipa. But I know her. Old family friend”
“What” I hiss to elbowing husband
“thnbgsd is pilajda” mutters husband (“that is Phillipa”)
“OH!” I say. “Shit”
So I go over to said lady (someone stop me!) and say “Were you asking if I was Phillipa or are you telling my that you're Phillipa?”
“I’m Phillipa” she says. She looks really embarrassed now. Shouldn’t that be ME that’s embarrassed?
“Oooooh I seeeee!” I say. “I’m Miranda.” I add futilely.
She nods “Yes I know”
Cue ground to open up…no? Okay so I’ll just sit next to you on the bus instead and jabber on endlessly. Try dig myself out.
“My mom was here recently, shame she missed you. She really wanted to see you. We only just found out you’d moved here”
“Yes, I saw her at Shoprite”
“Oh, Okay. Well that’s nice” Silence
“So umm, how are you enjoying Arusha”
I should not be let out in public
Reminds me of a story told by my uncle, Adrian.
He was in small town dusty Chipata and this guy comes up to him and says
“Hey, you’re Norman Carr’s son, right?”
“Yes” says Adrian.
“Ah, I don’t know you, but me and your brother Adrian, we’re like this” (crosses fingers to indicate being inseparable) “Very close. Good good friends”
*Name has been changed to protect me