Rwandan Ramblings

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

“I’ll just have an omelette please”

This was the request from Merryl in one of two main eating establishments in Nyagatare one night a few months ago.

“Ok, no problem”. Waitress hurries off. Over an hour later, as Merryl begins to wonder whether they’re birthing the chicken, the waitress returns. “Sorry, tonight we have no omelette”. Merryl asks why they hadn’t realized the distinct lack of the single ingredient required for her meal more than a few minutes earlier. “Sorry”.

“Ok, I’ll just have chapati”.

Chapati is flour and water. Maybe a pinch of salt if you’re lucky. This is then fried up in shallow oil. Admittedly, eggs shouldn’t be too hard to come by, but Merryl was pretty sure that a simple chapati would be pretty easy for the restaurant to make.

Forty five minutes later, the waitress returns, with a shy, slightly embarrassed look on her face. “Sorry we have no chapati tonight”. No flour? No water? No eggs or oil?

Merryl giggles a little but says not to worry, it doesn’t matter. What can she have then?

- Pause –

“Sorry. Today, we have no food”.

Now, you’d think that the restaurant might have known that 105 minutes before...


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