Friday, October 8, 2010

Bucket List Progress Report

Bartend at a shabeen..............check.
During the August holiday Jen and I convinced our bar owner friend to let us bar tend at his shabeen in Windhoek. We got t-shirts made for ourselves and some friends with "Chillarz Lounge" printed on it as well as some classy slogans. (Check out my facebook photos) The shabeen is in the location in Katatura, therefore most people are shocked to see Oshilumbu (white person) let alone get served drinks by one at a bar there! We had an incredible time serving beer and dancing to Namibian house music and Shakira's Waka Waka. Jen and I have a grand scheme now to open our own shabeen named "Shilumbu Spot."

Sleep in a haunted house..............check. Sort of.
Ok. So Namibians are very superstitious and believe in ghosts, tall tales, curses and crazy witch doctors. One night we are hanging out with some friends and they start telling ghost stories. My favorite.....The Curse of the Stolen Diamond. 15 years ago, a man was working in the mines in the south. He succeeded in stealing a diamond, quit his job and moved back to the north to show off his riches. The first thing he did was build a beautiful new home. He did not even live there for one week before creepy shit started happening and finally the cursed ghosts scared him away for good. Every since, not only has no one lived there, but no one has been able to spend an entire night inside the fence. Everyone who has attempted in has run away screaming bloody murder. Some German missionaries even tried to come and bless the house to scare away the ghosts, but failed. So, logically, Jen and I responded to the story with 'Where is the house and can you get us inside?'

Of course, Ronny, the guy who told us this story had some sort of connection to get us the keys to the house. He actually owns a bar right next to the haunted house and is a police officer in Oshakati. So we made plans, packed our things and faced the challenge of staying in the cursed diamond house. One of my friends, a very superstitious Namibian, begged me not to do it and said goodbye to me like it would be the last time. Other friends just laughed at me in disbeliefo(crazy oshilumbu!). We met Ronny and his bar and had a few beers to boost our courage. He handed over the keys and they escorted us to the gate, but refused to go any further. Imagine, three grown men afraid to step foot inside the fence of this house. We creeped up to the front of the house, flashlights and keys in hand. Rock paper scissors to see who goes in first. I lose. Trying to hide the slight tremble of my fingers, I find the padlock on the rusted iron door. I attempted to insert the key into the lock. Failure. I try again. Failure. I open my mouth to yell at Ronny for giving us a bogus key when Jen's light flashes over the padlock. I realize that the key I was pushing on was not even touching the padlock when tried to insert it. Something was stopping us. We hesitantly move to the windows. Jen holds her flashlight up to the glass as we attempt to peer inside. To our surprise, we only saw blackness. The light failed to pass through the window. Attempt number two....nothing. After the key mysteriously failing and the flashlight not working through the window, we started to worry. A little. Our last attempt to get inside was a row guest houses on the far side of the property. We wade through the yard of overgrown grass trying not to think about the snakes that we were repeatedly warned about (by the three grown men). We get to one side of the guesthouses to find no doors, only tall windows. We ease around the corner to the end up the narrow building to again find only windows. Where are the doors into this f-ing place? We had looked on three sides of the building to only find these small unreachable windows. The only path to get to the remaining side of the building is behind a rotting wall completely overgrown by trees and tall grass. Determined, Jen and I proceed to practically crawl on our hands and knees through the jungle corridor to reach the fourth wall. We stand up and shake off the spiders and cobwebs from our arms and look down the wall. No doors. (If this were a horror movie, I would have added the sound effect of a hollow creaking door). A long line of guest houses and not a single door to enter. This is the point in the night where I had to decide if I had a few too many Windhoek Lagers or if I was becoming a believer of Namibian superstitions. Feeling slightly defeated for not being able to spend the night inside the house and slightly spooked for the reasons we could not enter the house, we jumped the fence and trudged back to Ronny’s shabeen. The guys, having scampered away in fear quickly after we descended on the house, were enjoying some wine with coke. I sat down, ordered a Windhoek and tried to hid my trembling knees under the table.


Cath Manley said...

Holy Crap, Peach! That's just crazy!!! It can't really be true though, right?? Right?

Meg said...

Awesome! That was the best ghost story I've heard in a while (well...I haven't heard any in a while). It woulda been SO cool if you could've stayed inside! You should try again ;)