Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, 22 April 2010

My best friends

I have developed a strong friendship with a group of children, most of whom are my nieces and nephews. The reason for the bond is evident: I frequently share with them sweets, bananas, but mostly biscuits, having in recent years developed a keen taste for biscuits after having almost entirely weaned myself from a variety of Tanzanian lagers.

Think of a highly popular leader, such as Nelson Mandela, as the principal candidate in a "dream ticket" comprising political figures from each continent, all working together on one campaign ticket and with me on the opposing side with hands tied, mouth gagged and under house arrest throughout the campaign period and I still would win the elections if these children were the only voters in that election.
My nieces, nephews, and some neighbours

Not long ago, two of the children showed up and asked me for some of the usual treats. I said I had none, but recalled having an unopened packet of biscuits and went to my bedroom to fetch it. It was a brand that the supermarket attendant had recommend after I found they had run out of my favorite biscuits. I decided beforehand I would taste one of the biscuits before handing over the entire contents to the children. It was a decision that has altered our hitherto good relations.

The biscuits were labeled "shortbread" but the exceptional taste I experienced had nothing "short" about it and undoubtedly contradicted the label. Contrary to my earlier decision to hand over the entire box, I ended up reversing my earlier decision: I gave them two biscuits each and retained the rest.

I keep telling myself that it was only biscuits, that I was the only one with the compromising information, and no one was adversely affected, but I wondered whether relations, particularly between leaders and those who are led, may produce conflicting choices to particular individuals where the stakes are much higher than a two thousand shilling box of biscuits, less four.

The contradictions are not limited to politics and the range can extend to all types of relations, including parenting where the subjects end up licking the crumbs while the leader gets the cake and the cream.

The Irish wit, poet, and dramatist Oscar Wilde wrote: "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." Those who yield to various temptations will most likely support such a stance, but such support accepts a weakness rather than confronts it.

1 comment:

EP 207 said...

EET SOM MOR, Tanzanian call it "eatsomemore". lovely biscuits ever.