So there I was sitting on the terrace at the Victoria Falls Hotel, downing what would be my fourth Zambezi beer for the day, trying to relax and fortify myself for the afternoon ahead. Magnificent vistas of the gorge and bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia stretched out before me, a shimmer of mist rising from the falls in the background.
This Chinese American that I am chaperoning on an African safari is pawing over pictures on her camera of her action activities of the morning. She scowls some orders to the waiter and looks up at me in displeasure because my photography has captured her true vulgarity.
I remember I have an iPod shuffle in my pocket; I plug the buds into my ear and switch on. Can’t remember what mix is on this pod but it fires up in the middle of an Art Pepper solo of body and soul. Immediately I start to relax as I’m enveloped by his sonorous alto sax, a creative force that is in perfect harmony with the majesty of the setting.
I turn to look at her, she is glued to her camera and wolfing down a mouthful of smoked salmon. She doesn’t care that I’m in my own space. She’s got nothing to share nor shown any interest in anything other than herself anyway.
I lean back and close my eyes while Art plays out the melody, I’m flooded with emotion, my eyes get teary.
Silence as I wait expectantly for the next selection.
And then it hits me, John Coltrane playing ‘Don't take your love from me’. A tear rolls down my face as for the first time in days I feel at total peace with the world.
She looks up, there’s a big grin on my face. “We go for elephant back ride now,” she barks. “Yeah, whatever” I reply.
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