Friday, August 29, 2014

Chef trouble

A  week has passed which can be described as eventful  or totally void of interest, depending on which tint of glasses I use to look at it. There was certainly plenty going on: for a start  I sacked Papa, then I took him back again. He had been given two nights leave but didn’t turn up until the fifth day, and did not call me. Meanwhile there were actually a couple of guests here, and they wanted to eat something. We had to send Kassim the night watchman off  to town to get some of Taytjina’s delicious stew from the market , since I was in the throes of a streaming cold and was certainly not going to venture into the kitchen.  I was very cross and  when Papa finally turned up I warned him: ‘You know, this sort of offence if repeated  might result in your being dismissed’. ‘OK, that is fine by me,’ said the unrepentent Papa .  I have other things to do, and people are always asking me to come and work for them’. That is of course an outright  lie, since there are absolutely no restaurants north of Segou that are doing any trade. ‘Well if that is how you are feeling, then I think you should go and work for them. Don’t  let us stop you!’ I replied icily. And he got up and  left!

Now, Papa’s departure would be sad, since he has been with us from the beginning, and he is an OK cook: I say only OK, because he has not really any love for cooking but sees it as a just a job. Almost all that he knows I have taught him. But nevertheless...  his departure sent shockwaves through the rest of the personnel. The  big-hearted Ace appointed himself as mediator and came to see me, asking me to reconsider.  Then he went off to Papa where he presumably  asked the same. The result was that Papa came back the following day and offered  something that vaguely resembled an apology. I knew that apologizing is not a customary Malian form of behaviour , so I didn’t press him for any  further grovelling and took him back.
(And just by the bye: the Donkey Girl without name is pregnant again. Birgit will be pleased: there may be a new little donkey foal by Christmas for her to brush? Boubakar is now quite a grown up!)



Blogger David said...

Time to call her Dollie with an ie. There was only ever one Dolly in the donkey world and he is gone.

And sorry for your troubles. Plus ca change...

9:30 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

OK Darling. Dollie it is, of course! And sorry about Dolly...

4:14 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hail, Dollie, mother of Betty!

11:11 PM  

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