Monday, January 5, 2009

The Curious Rituals of the Valley People (Part 1)

Setting the table

Preparing the feast

Accepting rare and exotic gifts

Welcoming the guests - all of us strayed and flung far from family (even we, in this rare gathering, are missing many many parts)

Hence the cell phone calls even as we sit down to eat

And as we toast absent family and friends our breath is ragged for a moment. We swallow throat lumps the size of marula pips

and turn our attention to cracker tricks

and crap cracker jokes

as beer and wine flow like a frolicsome river

and chatter layers over twitter over giggle and guffaw til we sound like an aviary of mad scurrilous birds

Presided over by the Queen of Orientar*

And then

Post-lunch silliness takes on bizarre forms:
1. Stand in a circle and throw a small bouncy ball randomly around the group.
2. If you miss once, you get given the letter B
3. If you miss twice you get given the letter U
4. If you miss thrice you get given the letter M
5. Now you stand against the wall and everyone in the group gets to throw the small bouncy ball at your bum.
6. ???? don't ask. Its a good spectator sport.

but the light fades too quickly

and we have to submit to the blurr of the end of a fine day

* Remember "we Three Kings Of Orient are.." and how many like me wondered "where's Orientar, mummy?"


Val said...

wonderful! that BUM game - hahahaha
great pics xx

tam said...

I know! Weirdo Brit army / Zim expat shenanigans. Fun tho! Seems to work for both the sadists and the masochists.

Adrianne said...

I sure do like the looks of those rare and exotic gifts! And the BUM game sounds like a real hoot.

Tessa said...

Rare and exotic fun times too! Looks like heaven to me.

Miranda said...

Ah what fun. So wish I'd been there!

Anonymous said...

Curious perhaps, but undoubtedly a very special family together time and that's what it's all about to me.

Lori ann said...

i love the photos! what a treat.

Angela said...

I love Pam`s picture!

Reya Mellicker said...

as we toast absent family and friends our breath is ragged for a moment. We swallow throat lumps the size of marula pips

Got a lump in my throat just reading this.

Thanks for the pics of your feast. I love those paper Christmas crowns. I wish we Americans were in the habit of wearing them.

Bum ball? OK - and yes you're right - great spectator sport!

tam said...

Yeah we were trying to figure out why the paper crowns, what their origin was, but surmised that it must be a reference to the three wise men. They are fun. Silly paper hats. In the heat of the Luangwa afternoon they stick to your sweaty forehead and the colour transfers to your skin... aah, whats Christmas without a smeary pink or green forehead!

lakeviewer said...

I enjoy your blog and your style. Among your book list, Fugitive Pieces is one of my favorites. You might like What Is the What by Dave Eggers, about the lost boys of Sudan. Have you written anything I would have seen?

Anonymous said...

Orientar, somewhat like Phuket, must be a place as well as a state of mind. I am glad to have stumbled upon this blog and look forward to more ~ Chlorista

tam said...

Welcome, lakeviewer. I haven't read the Eggers, but thanks, I'll look out for it. Have I written anything you've seen? Unlikely. Most of my work is highly localised and community based. (Obscure, is another way of putting it).

Thanks for stopping by, Chlorista, I'm about to go and check out yours now.