Friday, October 3, 2008

At least I don't have diarrhoea

I am feeling a little befuddled today. Got a mild dose of the morbes which is unusual, but it’ll pass. Soon soon.

Ah, I don’t mean to complain. I have a very fabulous life. I am very VERY lucky. At least I don’t have diarrhoea.

Just after the Millenium I had a difficult year, money wise. I was working, but being paid a pittance and hadn’t actually been paid for about 8 months. And I was broke broke broke. Luckily I was in Luangwa where living can be cheap. I had my own ramshackle wooden house, inherited from my grandfather so I didn’t have to pay rent. My aunt (also going through a hard period at the time) was also there and the two of us could only afford one meal a day of nsima (stiff mealie meal porridge – the staple in Zambia) and rehydrated beans. And every day we’d sit down to our meal and say:
“Well, at least we’re alive”
“At least we’ve got legs”
“At least we CAN eat”
“At least we don’t have diarrhoea”

So now that’s the standard “things could be worse line”. At least we don’t have diarrhoea. Coz that really IS grim isn’t it?

Oh and one day, about 7 months in - of this one-meal-of-nsima-and-beans-a-day - we sat down to lunch, started eating and both said “Hmmmm, something’s different. What is it? Yum.” And then we realised it was burnt. A little variation goes a long way.

And suddenly at the end of the year we both got a windfall. I finally got paid, after lots of fighting, paid back my debts and was almost back to square one. But not quite. So my aunt and I got the bus to Jo’burg (a 28 hour straight through bus ride), stayed at my cousin’s house and went into the shops in the flash area of Jo’burg. Oh what a sight we must have been! Both really really skinny, probably pretty scruffy too. Walking in and out of the aisles in the fancy supermarket just looking. We spent hours in there, just walking up and down, up and down. It was Christmas the next day so evetually we dragged ourselves away from the aisles and bought as many veggies as we could afford. Just veggies – broccoli and patti pans and squash and beetroot. It was like Christmas. It WAS Christmas. And then we got back to my cousin’s house (she was away), locked ourselves in steamed all the veggies and ate and ate and ate! That was probably one of the best Christmas meals ever!!

Ah, I feel better already!

So to cheer myself up I’ve been looking at pictures of South-East Asia from our honeymoon earlier this year. I took THOUSANDS. Literally thousands of pictures. So it VERY hard to choose. But today, I give you this one:


Mud in the City said...

Hey Miranda. Your post really reminded me of how lucky I am too. Even when I'm feeling a bit down about stuff there are sooooo many reasons to feel very very grateful. And yes, I too will say "at least I haven't diarrhoea"!!

(unless I have, in which case I'll have to be more creative.)

Hope you're feeling a wee bit more cheerful!

fush and chips said...

Thanks, Miranda. Your post made me feel heaps better about my current situation.

bon weekend

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

Yup, we all need lean times in our lives to ensure we are forever grateful for our blessings, even if it is a seemingly mundane thing like not having the squirts.

Chimera said...

You rock, bean nsima girl!!! Wonderful quirky moving post and important.
T x
p.s. your pet posts were glorious. Better then Gerald Durrell. But so viiolent and tragic! Excellent bitter sweet...(as you now I do lurve the bitter sweet!) You have had an incredible time of it!

Miranda said...

Mud - we do have many things to be grateful for. This part of the world other people,s problems and povery is so in your face its hard NOT to be reminded how lucky we are every day! And yes, the ,at least I don;t have diarrhoea thing does make me really pissed off when I actually DO have diarrhoea!

Fush and chips - thanks, T. Hope your situasi gets better soon.

Rob, yes quite.

Tanvi, thanks! Yes I suppose we had. I forgot to write about your dad fixing our civet with an injection...

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow, what a story! You're tough, or as we would say in the U.S. a bad-ass! Yeah!!

We're so spoiled and weak in America. We have forgotten how strong our species can be. Thanks for the reminder!

GREAT pics. Happy honeymoon, btw, and hope you're soon feeling 100% better.

Miranda said...

Thanks Reya! The thing about that time is that I always knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It WOULD get better. Some people just don't have that light - can't see it - and THAT is where I am lucky.

BlouKous said...

It's been one of those days. And I was getting myself very much unstuck. And then I read antlers post and then yours and now I'm at peace again. Ant not pieces.

Val said...

well done miranda - another important one. and a good mantra to say when things get bleak or confusing; (try not to think that diarrhea and vomiting together is probably THE worst... frot pawpaws.. beware of them);

Val said...

i think what i mean is - no matter how bad things get they can always get worse, so thats something to appreciate too :-) blimey... what?

Miranda said...

Val - I know what you mean. Exactly! And I shall keep away from the frot paw paws. And maybe maybe one day I'll TRY and write a book! Try TO wite a book? See? How will I get it right??

traveller's diarrhoea said...

I rather be sick in bed than have diarrhoea because it really hard to have it. Its sad because children are more likely than adults to die from diarrhoea because they become dehydrated more quickly.