Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tigers in Africa?

Yip! I found one here...

While doing the Guest House shopping in Shinyanga last Wednesday, I stopped at a supermarket on the way home. As I entered the store, I noticed a life-sized toy tiger on top of a display. (Couldn't miss it!)  A sticker on its left paw said "Press here" .  I pressed but nothing happened. I called the manager and asked him if it had batteries; were they perhaps flat? But, no matter how much we looked, we couldn't find a flap which normally holds batteries in a toy. I asked him how much discount he'd give me for a faulty item. We haggled to and fro,  eventually agreeing on a price. By this time,  the till operator, the shelf packer and half a dozen shoppers had gathered around us. As my driver, William,  hitched the tiger over his shoulder, a loud cheer went up from the crowd ! Africans will always crowd around an indaba (meeting) and love to share in your joy.
The tiger reclines on top of the shopping on the back seat of our vehicle

Now why would I have bought a toy tiger,  you ask? Well, firstly it belongs to the cat family and we love cats. Secondly the tiger is Grant's most favourite animal * in the whole world (he named our very first cat Tiger, later known as Tigger, way back in 1996. Tigger, who lives in our home in South Africa, is 16 years old this year). And finally,  I needed a birthday gift for for my husband. This was it!
Grant was at work when I arrived home, so I hid the tiger in the spare bedroom. It's so life-like that everytime I walked past and peeked into the room, my heart would skip a beat. The next morning, I crept through out through the bathroom from our bedroom which also leads into the spare room. I snuck back quietly and placed the tiger on the bed behind Grant.

I made tea, carried it through to the room and woke him. After wishing him, I said to look behind him. He squinted across the bed,  sat up suddenly, looked at the tiger, rubbed his eyes and looked again. To say he was surprised would be an understatement but later that day, while showing his gift to Dipen, he said it's the best birthday gift he's ever received!  
Isn't Tiger the awesomest, most laid-back guy you ever seen?

Tiger shares the double bed with the cats' toys. Here he holds Shawn the Sheep which was Shadow's favourie toy when he was a kitten in Khartoum. (Shadow is asleep under the blanket just outside the photo frame)

On Wednesday evening we went over to the club. There was no-one there; everything was shut. We waited for half-an-hour before we decided to go home. The club is open on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, but as there are so few expats between us and the client (mine owner), more often than not, the barman doesn't pitch.

Water from a large fountain cascades into the swimming pool. (This one's forBetsy; the only waterfall I've seen so far in Tanzania!) Marnitz took a photo of me and Grant in front of the featureWhile we waited, I wandered around the tropical garden, camera in hand.  The clubhouse, patio, garden, swimming pool and tennis courts are kept in excellent condition; only a pity there's no-one to use it. Apparently in its heyday, there'd be no less than 38 bikini-clad ladies lying around the pool on any given summer day!

The patio and entertainment area with built-in barbeque and the swimming pool in the background

* Note: My favourite animal in Africa is the hyena or wild dog and the giraffe. In the world? The panda! What is your favourite animal?

Have a great weekend everybody!




  1. Great picture of the two of you, Jo.... Love it... Two cutie pies!!!!!

    Love your huge tiger... AND he does look REAL... Have the cats gotten used to him yet? Have you named him?????

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  2. It is a lovely photo of you and Grant. That tiger is so lifelike. Thank goodness he's tame, lol.

    My favourite wild animal is the lion.

  3. I do LOVE the tiger and what a fun day and gift! I do love lions and tigers, too! Great post for the day and big smiles to wind down my day! Enjoy your weekend, Jo!


  4. Oh My Gosh.... I guess my favorite African animal is the elephant and/or giraffe---but I love them all.

    Forgot to say that I love the fountain cascades... sounds like a good waterfall to me!!!!! ha


  5. Your Tiger is wonderful! What a find...

  6. I Love you new Kitty! Ever figure out why to "press here"? What do the other cats think of this newest addition.

    My favorite animal is the elephant.

  7. That's a nice birthday gift ! what an enormous tiger ! I like it, would fit on Mr. G's bed too ! The picture of both of you is very pretty ! You have a nice blouse ! turquoise is one of my favorite colors !

  8. My fav animal is the horse. Big surprise.
    Your tiger looks quite realistic. I'm glad he's friendly and easygoing.

  9. My favourite wild animal is the panda, too, and my favourite bird is the penguin.
    We're going to San Diego next month and we've rented a condo near the zoo, and I want to hang out with the pandas every day.
    Wonderful photo of you and Grant, and I love the swimming pool with the fountain and waterfall. I was upset when you left Kenya, but maybe we should visit you in Tanzania.
    Still no easy way to get me from western Canada to eastern Africa without me collapsing in a heap, but we're thinking about it.
    And yes, do tell us what the cats think of the tiger. I'm thinking they don't mind it because you said Shadow was nearby but out of the picture.
    Congratulations on finding Grant's best birthday present ever.
    Luv, K

  10. What a wonderful story to share! And I agree with everyone...that photo of you and Grant is just perfect! What an amazing couple you are. And I love the tiger, too!

  11. Any golden retriever!

    The tiger is amazingly life-like. I'm sure I would jump if I walked into a room and saw it. What a great gift for Grant's birthday! The pool and lawn area are really lovely.

    How long will you stay at this mining operation/site, or is that unknown at this time?


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo