Monday, 20 February 2012

"Don't Urinate Here"

Last week, after our daily slave routine (some may be more familiar with the term "workout") I noticed a sign hanging crooked on a tree that reads, "DON'T URINATE HERE, FINE 10000." It seemed sort of comical, and I decided it had photographic potential. I took the photo and was surprised to have a nearby security guard stop me. *Note: the entertainment qualities of this dialogue are dramatically increased when read with an African accent.

Guard: "Why are you taking a picture of my sign?"

Me: "Well…I think it's kind of funny."

"I will arrest your camera."

"You're gonna arrest my camera?"

"I will arrest your camera."

"Well, how about I just delete the picture instead? See look, I'll delete it."

He then gets up from the plastic chair he so dutifully guards his sign from and stands over me, ruining any plan I had to secretly keep the picture. I delete it, and he seems pleased. We then part ways; I to my house and he to his chair. 

Not long after, we see him again in passing (we walk that way quite often) and he breaks out a huge grin as we wave to each other. 

The next day on our way to the store, which of course follows the same path, like it seems nearly everything does, we run into each other again and greet each other with big smiles and handshakes. 

Mom: "Sebo (sir), what is your name?" 

Guard: "Sebi."

Mom and I: "Sebi?"

Guard: "Yes, S-E- ….. you can call me Charles. Now that we are friends, you may take a picture."

Fast as lightning we whip out our cameras, which we always keep on hand. Then mom asks the question I was already thinking, both of us obviously mentally preparing a new blog post. 

"Can we take a picture of you with the sign?"

Charles grins, "If you pay me."

"Aw, but I thought we were friends??" There was some laughter, followed by some debating, and then finally consent. 

And that is how we met Charles the security guard, who now grins ear to ear and waves happily every time we say hello.

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