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Posted by on November 7, 2011

I spent another busy day at work organizing whatnot, correcting forms, and making a database for our study. It was a lot of time sitting, but the day went by pretty quickly. I really wanted to do something that evening since I was feeling trapped at the house so I sent Jake a text to see if he was free. He was also looking for something to do so we decided to go to the Mannenberg, which is a jazz club in town. Since Jake is living in Zimbabwe for a year, he bought a car in South Africa and imported it. And he’s nice enough to pick me up even though I live in the opposite direction from him. My landlord was sleeping on the couch when I left (which is not that odd since he sleeps on the couch every night and is awake and asleep at very odd hours) but I didn’t think anything of it.

The place we went to is on the second floor of a shopping center and there are two places right next to each other: the Mannenberg and the Book Cafe. They are both evening venues and while the Mannenberg is mostly music, the Book Café has music but also open mic nights and poetry readings. We got there around 9 pm and heard good music coming from the Mannenberg so we paid the $5 cover and went in. Near the door I saw a sticker on the wall for Amoeba Music! Someone else from Berkeley or San Francisco must have brought this sticker half way around the world just to place it on this wall. That was pretty awesome. However, when we walked in the place was completely empty!

The security guy assured us it would fill up since they were just getting started so we took some seats and ordered some drinks. A bit later one of the doctors that Jake works with joined us. His name is Golden, demonstrating once again how Zimbabweans know how to name their children.

The music was really good. It was a blend of jazz and African beats with some Caribbean influence as well. After a while we saw the security guy (he was wearing a shirt that said “Security”) go up on stage and adjust one of the amps. Okay, so the security guy doubles as the sound technician. Then a few songs later the security guy and another guy get up on stage and bring out microphones! Jake and I looked at each other with amazed expressions on our faces and said something like, “The security guy is in the band?” And indeed he was! He sang backup while the other guy did lead vocals. They sang in Shona, which was kind of cool but I couldn’t understand anything they were singing about.

Later in the night the lead singer said he wanted to do a love song. He looked over and Jake and me and said, “I’d like to dedicate it to you because I assume you’re together.” We both vigorously shake our heads. “No? You’re not together?” Heads shake. “You’re just friends?” Two heads nod enthusiastically. “Oh okay, well I’m still going to sing it.” I couldn’t understand most of the lyrics but the few that were in English were along the lines of “Girl, you gotta treat your guy right and give him what he wants.” And “boy, if you want to keep your girl, you better buy her nice things.” Classic.

Around 11:30 we were getting tired but it seemed like the band would go on for several more hours so we headed out.
When I got home I pressed the button for the gate, but it wouldn’t open! I thought maybe the battery had died so I pressed it again. I heard the gate motor trying but it wouldn’t open. I pressed the buzzer and woke up Mr. Morales to let him know I was outside. He told me they put a padlock on at night for extra security and that it was locked! Good time to tell me! That would have been good to mention earlier! And because I had pushed the button, moving the gate just a tiny bit, they couldn’t get the padlock off until they manually reset the gate. It took like 15 minutes and it was actually a bit cold outside and I didn’t have my jacket.

So now I guess I have to tell him when I’m going out so I don’t get locked out again. Somehow that makes me feel like I’m 15 again and that’s not a time I want to relive.

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