Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TdA Stage 66. Closed Conversations.

148km. Empty School Field Camp to Jehovah's Witness Camp.

We faced another 2,000 metres of climbing in today's stage. I have long suspected that I was not built for climbing; this trip has confirmed that for me. Fortunately, many people are not built for climbing so, although I rode alone all day, I was not alone in my suffering today.

It is on days like these that the little roadside amusements can provide they key for getting through the day with a smile.

The signature comment from roadside children in Malawi is 'how are you?'. I call it a comment because most of the people seem utterly unprepared for any sort of logical response from me. You can tell by the way that some of them say it - ow-er-u, a-wa-yu - that they are just repeating the sound that they've heard from other people. I'm not complaining, in fact, I find it amusing. And, anyhow, it beats the Ethiopian 'you money' and 'give me pen'.

Some of the kids here have even turned it into a little chant 'A-WA-YU! A-WA-YU! A-WA-YU!', leaving little room for conversation. Today's chants reached an entirely new level of hilarity. On one side of the road there was a group of kids doing the 'A-WA-YU!' chant, leaving just enough time between a-wa-yu's for a group on the other side to chant 'I AM FINE!'.

I'm not exactly sure what my role in this closed conversation was intended to be, but it put a smile on my face and a laugh in my heart to enjoyably get me through a good part of the ride today.


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