I often wonder whether people read this and think I am a fabricator, an embellisher of the truth.......a total and utter liar. If only it were true, because as you will read, I could really murder a brew right now.
After ‘kettlegate’ (see ‘The Kettle’), I decided enough was enough and went out into the manic suburban chaos near my hotel to buy a kettle from a local vendor. The biscuits I brought over here were just looking far too lonely without something to be dipped in, and, after going to all the effort to bring my own Sainsbury’s coffee, as George Best probably said on one more than one occasion, “it would be rude not to”.
Now, something I’ve learned from my brief time in West Africa, is if you need to buy something in particular, you needn’t go to an actual shop which sells it. Merely trot off to a shop which vaguely resembles what you are looking for, and if they don’t have it, I guarantee the shop keeper will know a man who does. Not only will he/she know somebody, but the chances are they are in close proximity and can even be called upon with a loud ‘shout’. Indeed, my guy didn’t really know what I was asking for, nevermind sell the item, but alas, in 10 minutes his friend was over with a choice of 3 plastic kettles. Each looked a bit ‘Blue Peter’ for my liking with Chinese writing scrawled over the front. I was assured however, that two were definitely better than the other – so I went for the other; a slightly cheaper option saving about a pound. In hindsight, I regret my decision.
The next night, I opened a packet of Custard Creams and went to make a cup of coffee. After unearthing the Plastic Chinese Electric Water Boiler (to call it a kettle would be offensive to those kettles more deserving of the title), I plugged it in to see if all the adapters worked in harmony. I could hear a faint hissing noise. Nice one. Bingo! And then.....BANG! Two minutes later, after wiping the Chinese kettle gunpowder from my eyes and emptying the contents of my now rather nervous pants, I realised that perhaps these things weren’t designed to be switched on empty. Maybe the Chinese writing really did mean something after all?
|The exploding kettle. The translation of the Chinese text reads, 'Buy this kettle, and the only mug around here is you'|