Here follows day 5's article so long...
Day 5 - Wednesday - 10-05-2017
THE BALLS THEORY
“Of course my attempt at science theory and quantum philosophy transpired after many sips on the cheap local booze mixed with cordial.”
Minor catastrophe. A storm blew in last night and it started raining. I woke up and found my notebook with my sacred scribbling’s soaked right through on the floor next to my bed, (placed there in case inspiration struck in the wee hours, like it often does). This morning the wind is still blowing and this qualifies as my first bad weather day in Malawi. I spend much of the morning separating wet pages and drying them like an Egyptologist will do when finding ancient scrolls. Thanks to the advances in modern paper and ink, all pages are eventually saved.
At noon I take a walk to town. I have one pair of shorts which I bought in Malawi last year at Cape Maclear. (You can buy clothes over here for real cheap at the local markets). My shorts have developed a few holes in dubious places, and they need to be fixed. A local tailor quoted me MWK 400 (about R 8).
Last night I used this hole in my pants as a metaphor for the famous double-slit experiment performed by Thomas Young in 1801. (Me trying to be all scientific at the Maru Research Center). Of course my attempt at science theory and quantum philosophy transpired after many sips on the cheap local booze mixed with cordial. This vile mouthwash tasting ‘gin’ is basically cheap clear spirit flavoured with … mouthwash possibly? The flavour I chose was real-deal bad, like in nauseating after a while; but when the edges need trimming and reality needs a bit of a fading, a man must do what a man must do.
Anyway, the experiment basically demonstrated that light and matter can display the characteristics of both waves and particles, and as far as I know this is still an issue that perplexes science, and is therefore mostly avoided by most scientists since this throws a rubbery spanner into their works. I was also expounding on the theory of biocentrism, (equally avoided by many ‘serious’ scientists for the same reason). Biocentrism’s basic principle is that the observer instigates a change in the outcome (reality), and not the other way around. I am personally very fond of this theory and it explains much to me on a personal level.
The whole in my pants is basically in my groin region, and I used my nutsack as an analogy for matter that can either be observed as waves or particles. With this in mind I challenged my audience to guess which testicle was hanging out; was it the left (particle) one, or the right (wavy) one? (The hole being just large enough to make one hang out at a time.)
Thankfully the tailor in town charged me the same price for both balls, I suspect he might me some sort of genius.
On my way to town I meet the honourable Headman Bacon Gawa, chief of one of the villages in the district. He insists on escorting me all the way and he is a fountain of information, expanding on the preparation and use of the Kasawa plant as well as local farming practises. In town he introduces me to his wife (busy preparing fried bread for tomorrow’s market day), at the restaurant they own and he also presents me with a gift: a grapefruit from a tree in his own garden.
Afterwards I take my pants to the tailor and he fixes it while I go across the street to drink Chibuku, (the local sorghum beer), at one of the noisy taverns. I become the spectator of a money card game in the back yard, and this seems like a good thing to do on an average weekday in any town, drinking beer and playing cards for money. Fuck the Mercedes and holiday home, I’m fine right here.
When I get my experimental pants back I have one more for the road at another tavern. I amble down back to the beach, happy and content to live another day doing what I love to do: recording the fascinating, unpredictable and ever changing melodrama that is the human story, once more secure from the analytical onslaught of modern science.
Back at the base the others are getting ready to go and do another survey. I work a while then I go take a stroll on the beach. I meet one of the ‘beach boys’ who tries to sell me some dagga at an exorbitant fee with the golden but tainted smile of fake innocence and sale techniques designed to baffle and confuse, and once again I have to cope with the fact that much of life is just a BS game that you can never escape, not even in what seems in many respects to be a paradise on earth. I must say that the weed looks pretty good, made in the original Malawi cob style. Sadly as far as I have heard form reliable sources, the real-deal Malawi cobs are no more, and what you find these days is a watered down version of the original product. So it goes, more bullshit.
In the evening we have vegetable stew… AGAIN! I’m craving for meat. I am an Afrikaner and a shameless carnivore. To top it all we end up spending the rest of the evening watching The Silence of The LAMBS! (Go figure).
When a local tries to sell you weed, you can be sure that he at least doubled the price up to Mzungu rates. Cut it in half and walk away if the dealer does not go for it, there is always another guy somewhere that will give you a better deal.