Flunky and the Fishbone

After my grueling first full day in Angola with missing luggage, fly swamped lunch and a broken down vehicle, I thought the next few days would be uneventful with boring meetings in safe office buildings. This flunky clearly had no gift of foresight.

At one of the business lunches, we were seated at a massive table and multiple plates of appetizers were laid before us. I looked at the menu for the day and the sheer excess of the meal amazed me. While the appetisers alone could have fed a village for a day, there were still 2 starters, 2 main courses (1 steak and 1 seafood dish), 1 pasta and a whole array of desserts, that were still in store for everyone. Just as I was happily chomping on a potato croquette which came by the basket full, I felt something in my throat. 

A fishbone was stuck. 

After trying in vain to wash down the bone with water and more croquettes, as well as having my boss peer down my throat, we finally had to interrupt the meeting and inform everyone that this flunky had a fishbone stuck in her throat. An Angolan flunky was immediately ordered to send me to the doctor. I was terrified. The car soon pulled up at a little bungalow. And I was thrust into a narrow corridor which served as a waiting room. Surrounded by sickly Angolan children spewing all manner of bodily fluids, I was convinced I would catch a exotic African virus for every minute that I sat there. So I tried my best not to breathe or touch anything. When it came to my turn, the doctor found my throat scratched, but there was no fishbone. So I was sent away with some some pills which were supposed to be some sort of antisceptic. And USD$100 was collected from me.

When we got back to the restaurant, the lunch was over, but the Angolan flunky was left with the task of settling the bill. As he counted out his stack of US dollar notes, I caught a glimpse of the bill. It cost a whopping USD$300 per person. My eyes widened in shock. And they had charged for the meals of Angolan flunky and I which we didn't consume beyond the booby-trap fishbone filled croquets. I could not believe they didn't even pack our lunch for us.

Thankfully kiasu Singaporean flunky had brought along muesli bars so Angolan flunky and I gobbled them down sullenly on the silent car ride to join the rest of the delegation at the next meeting.

Till today, I have not figured out why a fishbone was in a potato croquette. But this episode secured me a special mention in the retirement speech of the leader of the delegation. And I lived to tell the tale of my African Adventures. 

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