Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I got a very entertaining free sample at the supermarket recently. It was instant coffee packaged in Singapore. I'm not in advertising, but I just can't think that making your ad look like a sticky old piece of paper that has been used as an impromptu coaster is the way to go.
Worst of all, the manufacturer makes the rather alarming promise that it “leaves you drooling”. Perhaps it contains a mild neurotoxin that makes you salivate excessively and loose facial muscle control? Kind of scary.
So, not surprisingly, on Sunday morning I drank my usual, non drool-inducing coffee and went on to have a great day. The highlight was almost certainly the goat racing. You can have your Kentucky Derby and Ascot - the Ouagadougou Goat Races have them all beat.
Of course, the only way to get the goats to run is to have their owners run in front of them all the way. If horse racing operated on the same principle, I’m guessing it would be way less popular. But for goat racing, it works pretty well.
Of course, this meant that usually the fastest child, rather than the fastest goat, won. But it was still very good fun.
We all got together over at the house of my Friends of African Village Libraries pals: Leslie and Michael, plus their two children who are the keepers of Minnie. Gina (the goat wedding photographer) and her husband were there with their twin girls and Midnight. Our neighbours Tony and Kirsten came by with their two kids as well, so it was a good crowd. None of the other neighbours came out to watch, though. It was 4pm and still very, very hot. Mad dogs, Englishmen and crazy American goat racers, I guess…..
When the kids and pets got tired of running down the road, we all went in for a rest. There were snacks and drinks provided by our gracious hosts. There was no champagne like at Ascot, but we didn’t have to wear silly hats, so I considered it a fair trade. I noticed that Mallory just grabbed a handful of cookies and headed right back out into the heat, though. I peeked out the door and saw her feeding Goaty(aka Aslan) the treats and making much of him. She does love that goat.
After the break, a couple of the kids hopped on behind Leslie’s motor scooter. So then we got more of a high-speed thrill ambiance going. She raced down the dirt road, the goats in hot pursuit. It was one of the more unusual things I have ever seen in Burkina.
The winner? Well, it was kind of like the Special Olympics for goats. We wanted them all to go home with good self-esteem. They each won a few races and then after that, I don’t think we really kept track. As no money was changing hands and there was plenty of beer, the process seemed more important than the results.
Stay tuned for the film!!