January 14, 2004

The Guy from Switzerland

Africa Blog
The guy from Switzerland is also going to Mauritania. I run into him every now and then. The first time was outside the Mauritanian embassy. He has a selection of different hats, and a pencil-thin moustache.
The first time I spoke to him, he told me he had been 'mixing with the locals'. He said it was 'very special', then he made a sort of 80's style OK sign, by putting his thumb and index finger together in a circle, and raising the other 3 fingers. 'Ni-ice', he said in a kind of drawn out way. It is possible he raised his OK sign to his lips, and made a kissing sound for emphasis. It is also possible that I imagined that last part...
The next time I saw him was when I got on a bus at about 2pm. He had been on the bus since 7.30am, and would not be getting off until 7.30am the following day. 'That's a long journey', I said. 'Not so-o bad', he said. I neglected to tell him I had been chosing my route based on which buses left after 10am.
This time he had been 'spending time with the local people', and also he had 'not been visiting many tourist things such as monuments'. He made the 'ni-ice' gesture again. This time he definitely didn't kiss his fingers.
He is a man of few words indeed, but as we were standing by the bus at a meal stop looking out into the distance, some cloud had come over, and it got a bit windy. He came over, and said - 'It is not very hot, this desert'. This time there was no 'ni-ice' symbol.

Posted by paul at January 14, 2004 08:32 PM

Comments

Interesting comments about the man from Switzerland. Its been rumoured that the Swiss are very dull - this may account for his lack of words.
I, too, have been spending time with the locals in London, England, UK, Europe and I, too, have not been visiting many tourist things. I like to get back to the real people, keep away from the false world... find out what it is like to actually work in an office with the locals.

Posted by: tom at January 15, 2004 09:10 PM