On Thursday, I waited for the guy that had promised to leave with his boat at noon. I waited. Was he going to turn up at noon? How about in the evening? I think I had been lied to. Just a wasted day. Not too bad when you have more that a month of vacation, is it? I guessed not.
I watched the fishermen and chatted with idle men that joined me every now and then for small talk and spread of their common myths. “Don’t eat chilli”, one adviced. “When you give yourself to eating chilli, tests will never reveal anything if you ever get sick and the doctors will never find out what ails you. I’ve seen people die that way”. And such nonsense.
So I took a dip at sunset and indulged myself once again in the truly ethereal experience of warm fresh water shimmering in wonderful colors. But today’s bliss did not last; not for long.
I felt guilty of her not knowing this utter joy and contentment. So I stepped out of the lake determined not to have to experience this again on my own and as a punishment to myself. I walked the shores soliciting for information on the motorboat from the fishermen bringing in their fish.
It’s true that the boat sailed even at night. No one knew when the boat was going across but a general consensus was that it was definitely not tonight. I then wished to know where the owner lived upon which I was directed to “nearby” village, about a kilometre away.
Being a fishing village, it was (like) a big slum. Finding out who lived where was an endeavour that required FBI intelligence that I found in I small boy that walked me in this maze for half an hour, sometimes through open fireplaces with people (I think families) sitting around. What rudeness. Or not. Just murmur a greeting and get through. Strange people.
We stopped near such a fireplace. I don’t recall much about the surrounding or the people as I was little tense at this sudden stoppage. But I remember a pot boiled over the fire and there were at least two young women in the group. Of course I had to notice the women.
Here’s where the boat owner lived, but wasn’t home. They said he was “seeing his mother” which I’d later learn meant that he was with his wife in one of the huts. Look, I’m not the sort that hope that when someone is shut with his wife at 8pm, that they might be discussing important world issues like whether Israel should invade Iran, or the repercussions of building a dam across the Omo river on their livelihood.
“So, is the boat leaving tomorrow?” I sought, having immediately revised my earlier hopes of leaving tonight.
“No”, one of the people said.
“Why (not)?” I cried, in an angry horror.
“They leave in the evening”, another voice from the shadows said seeking to appease. “There has been a change of plans. You see, there’s a group of ‘wazungu’s that have hired the boat in the morning to go visit Central Island. It’ll be until about noon. After that he’ll go.”
We left it at that and somehow assured myself, again, that we should leave the following day.