Local Flare

We take our beers and leave the meatmosphere of the dining area towards the open air thatched roof thingy. The bar section has filled in a bit since we started dinner. As expected, it looks like a good mix of locals and travelers in varying sates of fuckeduppedness. Good vibe and lighting, I like the Jager trees.

The roof is stuffed with hundreds of empty bottles of something called Kleiner Keiler, a spicy cherry liqueur.

We find a space at the bar and get the attention of the bartender. Time to switch to gin. We also get the attention of a flamboyant local girl with super long, braided hair extensions, massive hoop earrings, and Elvira-length press-on nails. “It’s my lucky day! Hello, Boys”, “Hey there, having a good night?”, “Better now.” Oh we’ve got a live one here. Seems like a character.

The bartender is excited about our interest in gin and brings over a bottle of local Namibian fare, called Namgin (of course). We’re in. “What tonic do you want with it?”, “Oh there’s a choice, that’s nice”, “Oh yeah, it can make all the difference!” I like this guy. We opt for the Fitch and Leeds Pink Tonic.

We’re still using Priscilla’s upside down camera drink pic technique.

We taste the gin on it’s own and it’s nice and smooth, not overly botanical. The tonic is a trip though, whoa. Sparkling rose and cucumber, totally changes the drink. A little too sweet for our tastes though and we all agree to dial it back for the next round. And while in Rome, might as well get some of those spicy cherry bottles too. “Little wild boar” says the bartender and points to an open spot in the roof to stuff the bottles. It’s a vodka based, spicy ch-ch-cherry bomb. Phwiffff ok, shit, it is spicy.

Namibian Elvira is watching this whole interaction with a giant smile on her face. After we stash the bottles in the roof she’s basically in our laps. Her name is Chantal and she is simply outrageous. She starts twirling my hair in her fingers, “This hair! Is this natural? Where did you get this?”, “I dunno, Irish descendancy. I like yours too.” She sits next to me, finishes her beer and orders another. “I do like the hair. Mind if I get a pic?”, “Oh please do. Something to whack off to?”, “Yeah, I’ll get it framed by the bed.”

She has two friends that look like a couple at the bar. They’re watching the shenanigans with incredulous expressions. The guy pipes up, “Chantal, leave them be, my God”, “No worries man, she’s alright”, “See, I’m fine. We’re all friends now”, she notices Jamie being a little too quiet, maybe a combination of exhaustion and drinks. She goes right over to push his buttons, “We’re friends right?”, “Yeah, we’re friends.” Chantal is getting a little too close and it’s hilarious to watch Jamie get super awkward about it. It’s written on his face and he just can’t hide it. Chantal is chirping him, “Why you so stiff, man?”, “I’m not, I’m fine”, “You are not fine. Look at this”, she points at him and we are all laughing now. He’s not fine. This girl is a riot.

I take a queue from Chantal and decide to ratchet up the awkwardness at Jamie’s expense for the sake of some easy humor (what are friends for?). “You two should get a couple’s picture”, Chantal says, “Couple’s picture?”, “Yeah, pretend you’re a couple. Look lovingly into each other’s eyes and shit”, “Ahhhh, I’m good dude”, “Oh come on, loosen up, Mr Stiff!” And she grabs him and puts her hand on his chest. Jamie’s eyes shoot wide and we are cracking up. “Ok, now look into each other’s eyes like you’re in love”, “C’mon man..”, “Like this?”, “Kinda, I’m not convinced though”, “Like this?”, “Haha, nope. not quite.” Oh this is hilarious.

I get the pic and Jamie starts to back up. Chantal is slapping him on the chest, “Where are you going, man? Why so stiff? It’s like you got ass fucked by the whole army”, “Whoa!”, “Hah! Wha??!” Chantal’s friends at the bar are beside themselves now. The dude has an incredibly expressive face and his expressions are amazing to watch. This ludicrous comment sends him over the top with a facial fireworks display, “The fuck, Chantal? Like… what the fuck, girl? What the fuck?! Seriously, the fuck?”

I keep egging on the situation, it’s just too funny, “Maybe undo a button. Loosen him up a bit. You’re suppose to be in love. Really mean it, we’ll get a pic.” Seeing that she’s in the right company for outrageous antics Chantal continues to pry and goes for a couple of shirt buttons, “Did you want a blow job in the bathroom or something? You need to relax.” Holy fuck this is great.

“Ok now hold each other. Look her in the eyes, dude!”, “Yeah, we’re in love. We have sex together”, Mark and Peter are peeing themselves. I get a few pics. Jamie, realizing neither Chantal or I are gonna let up with this stupid shit, finally starts to chill and reluctantly goes with it. “Ok ok, now we’re getting it. I almost believe you guys are working on a family together.”

“Let me see, let me see” I hand Chantal my phone and she flips through the pics. Jamie makes his escape to the bar. He definitely needs another drink now. I hold up 4 fingers, he’s on it. “What is this? It takes really good pictures”, “A Pixel 2”, “Pixel 2?”, “Yeah, from Google”, “Ahh Google.” She flips it to selfie mode and goes on a selfie rampage with everyone.

I take the opportunity to introduce myself to her friends at the bar, still stunned and shaking their heads. “I’m so sorry man. She’s ridiculous”, “Haha it’s all good. She’s hilarious”, “She’s something alright”, “What’s your name, dude?”, we shake hands and he says, “Prince. Well that’s my pronounceable name”, “Prince is good. What’s your unpronounceable name?”, “Phorunder”, “Phorunder, that’s pretty pronounceable”, “Phorunder down under.”

Chantal is pestering Mark now, “Let me see those glasses. I bet I look good in these”, “Yeah maybe, here you go.”

We watch Chantal snap a million pics on my phone with Mark’s glasses on. She brings it back for review, “They’re pretty good, right? I like this phone, I think I’ll keep it”, “Haha, not likely”, “What are you gonna do to get it back?”, “Fine Chantal, let’s go to the bathroom!” Prince’s mouth falls open, “Oh shit!”, we snap a quick high five. Ah man this is fun.

Alright Chantal, let’s see what you’ve got.

Prince and Chantal

“We need a group shot. Everybody een. Everbody get down. Group photo. Group photo now.”

“Are you on WhatsApp?”, “Depends who’s asking”, Chantal slaps my chest, “It’s me asking, boy, and I want those photos”, “I’ll message you everyday”, “You’d better!”, “I’ve already told my mom about you.” We exchange info but I don’t have internet at the moment. “You better send me those pictures”, “I will don’t worry”, “If you don’t I’ll rip your pubes out”, “Oh nice, I usually have to pay for that.” Prince cracks almost spitting his drink into his hands. He holds up a finger, “That’s the one, that’s the one!” Chantal gets right up on me, “Do you really?”, “Yeah, well maybe”, she reaches straight down into my pants and gives a tug on some pubes, “Really?!”, “That’s what I thought.” Prince’s jaw is on the floor again.

It seems our shenanigans have plateaued at this point. We’re also on our fourth round of gins, everybody’s picked one up. I grab a seat back at the bar again and Chantal sits beside me. She starts telling me that she has a kid. She points over to a guy at the end of the bar, “That’s Peter. He’s the baby daddy. But he denies it and this is Africa so what can you do. I can’t be mad. I’ll just see other people. You can’t get jealous or mad, it’s just life. Oh, I think my friend likes you.” She points over to another girl that has been quietly watching all this ridiculous shit the whole time. She’s in a fuzzy tan top and is totally casting eyes bashfully. “Well fuck it, I’ll say hi.” Chantal smiles and comes with.

“Hi, I’m Jonathan”, “I want to have kids with you so that they’ll have your hair”, “Yeah ok. Maybe we’ll start with names first?”, “Rosalette”, “Rosalette, that’s really pretty.” Chantal is beaming. She thinks she’s setting us up, “Rosalette I should tell you I’m already taken”, “Ahh of course”, Chantal slaps me on the chest again, “You’re in Namibia, man. Have fun!”, “Oh we’re having a blast, don’t worry”, “At least get a… what was it?”, “Couple’s photo?”, “Yes, yes!” She holds her hand out for my phone.

My alternate universe with Rosalette. Not one of our six kids came out with curly hair.

It’s getting late at this point and the bar is closing down soon. Chantal and Rosalette want to go to a club called Chopsy’s that’s open late. “Let’s go dancing!” In that alternate universe we would have gone dancing, gotten blow jobs in the bathroom, and maybe had the whole army fuck us in the ass. But no, we’re driving North towards Etosha bright and early tomorrow. Chantal pretends to pout, “You better send me those photos”, “I will, take care of my wife tonight.” We get hugs from Prince and his girl too, “That was fun, man”, “It was”, and we make our way to the exit.

Wow. Joe’s Beerhouse.

We walk back to Urban Camp and things are quiet and closed up. The gate guards buzz us in. Everyone is asleep in their camps. Mark gets a bottle of Sauv Blanc from Belinda and we wind things down with a nightcap by the pool. A security guard named Robson brings over a propane heat lamp, it’s gotten chilly. Over some wine he tells us he’s been here 6 years now but is originally from the North. From a shanty city outside a diamond mine. Working here is much better. Nice guy. He listens to us recount some insane Chantal moments from the night and chuckles to himself.

We finish up and get back to our campsite in the middle of the city. Millions of stars. My toe is still sore from busting the nail open on the brick wall of the showers. Socks are bloody. Whatever. Conk out.

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