Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monkey business at our restaurant

On Saturday, Beth and Sosi found a taxi driver who offered to take us to another new restaurant that was “very beautiful and food like America.”  Why not?  We had eaten everything the another restaurant had last weekend.  The “taxi” was a three-wheel affair, sort of like a golf cart, with a roof and plastic sheeting on the sides which did a poor job of keeping out the rain.  Even Sosi had never been in such a vehicle so she sat in the front seat next to the driver to get the full, windy experience.  I felt like I was in one of those child carriages that  hook on behind a bicycle and you worry about it’s safety whenever you see one on the street.  It was fun, though, going slowly, waving back at young people on the road, seeing a different part of Nekemt with colleges and clinics and churches.
We arrived at the new restaurant just in time to duck out of the rain into an alcove with an awning, close to an outdoor fire place to which two little monkeys were tied on a long rope.  They leaped and squeaked and we thought they were, oh, so cute.  Not like the big monkeys that infested the trees behind our guest house, eating green fruits while staring through our dining room window watching us eat oranges and bananas.  Beth and Sosi took endless photos of them everyday, laughing at them while safe inside the house. Until one day, Beth came back alone and found our compound filled with monkeys dancing on the roof, playing hide and seek and tipping over the water buckets on the ground, wriggling the door and window handles trying to get in.  She hid in the toilet room until Sosi and I came home and chased them away by screaming and throwing stones.  After that, we kept the curtains closed and made sure every opening was securely locked.
The two restaurant monkeys were tiny like an organ grinder’s pet on a rope so we didn’t mind them as we waiting for our dinner.  Suddenly they got loose, jumped from table to table, scattering food and scaring all the customers, Ethiopians and ferengis alike.  Once they were caught, a skinny grey cat came to my feet whining for my “roasted chicken dinner,” which was about the size of a starving chickadee, and which I gladly gave it to keep the cat from sitting on our table.  The rest of the week end, we stayed near home and went back to our favorite hotel/restaurant for meals, dodging monkeys on the way.