Back in the guest house we learned what we had suspected that morning, Andre was a ‘know it all’ who liked to give you the benefit of his wisdom and experience in as many words as possible regardless of whether you asked for it or not.
In fact listening to him politely, trying hard to stifle an epidemic of yawns wasn’t a shared duty as Sue somehow seemed to have a good reason to go to our room and would leave me stranded and bombarded by all this trivia, opinions and ‘expertise’.
What did make us both chuckle was Andre’s insistence on stating “and that’s all there is to it” after every statement or monologue. After hearing it so many bloody times I can’t believe that we actually took this up as a catch cry as for the rest of our travels through Africa. We must have been brainwashed! For the life of me I cannot remember anything else that Andre said; but I do remember the fact that 90% of Andre’s commentaries were about the New South Africa.
Henry on the other hand was far more interesting!
Henry was a twenty-one year old black Student from Zambia studying at Cape Town University, South Africa’s and probably Africa’s best university and he was lodging at the guest house. Tall, lanky with tight cropped hair like so many of his generation, he was articulate and extremely mature for his age and spoke with some knowledge of the world today.
That’s what’s so good about travelling, you meant the most interesting people in sometimes the most unexpected surroundings.
We chatted to this guy in the kitchen as we both prepared our evening meals. He told us of his home near Lusaka in Zambia and how when he drove there from Cape Town, a journey of over 2000 kilometres, he could almost smell it as he crossed the border and first spots the Zambezi escarpment with now only 150 kilometres to go.
His father was, we gathered an important government official and they wanted for little, except a university of quality close by, hence the 4000 kilometre round trip every time he went home.