Deep fried cuckoo…

I am all too aware that I live a privileged MEDC life and therefore the following taster of the Malawi menu experience has been summarised with lashings of affection and a nod to a well know Torquay hotel, blended with the heart of a Mzuzu lodge.





Waiter:-               (looking hopefully at the team) Do all of you want to eat tonight?

Me:-                      (eyeing the abandoned eating area) Are you open?

Waiter:-               (big smile) of course. Would you like a menu?

Me:-                      (slightly smug, knowing that African menus are more

                                aspirational then a food list)

Yes please. Is everything available today?

Waiter:-               (frowns) …of course.. (long pause) .. except the goat. (another long pause)

Me:-                     O.K. What is the fish?

Waiter:-               Chombo.. (code for lake road kill) (another long pause)… but we don’t have any..

Me:-                      Stew?

Waiter:-               Sorry….all gone..

Me:-                      (still with a tad of patience) Exactly what do you have?

Waiter:-               (looking pleased with himself).. Cuckoo.

Me:-                      Cuckoo? (musing the fact that this may not be legal)

Waiter:-               (in a patient voice translates the obvious) Chicken.. You will have to have chicken.

Me:-                      OK… (resigned) I will have chicken.

Waiter:-               How would you like it.. fried, crumbed, curried? (pencil poised for action)

Me:-                      Curried for me (at last)

Waiter:-               Sorry.. no curry.. (somewhat hopefully) Fried?

Me:-                      OK (resigned) fried.. However you have it.

                                (muttering under my breath but a little too loudly)..

but preferably dead.

Waiter:-               (looking perplexed) Of course sir.


This routine is repeated, although a little more briefly with the rest of the team who wanting to eat before they die all stated their preference for fried Cuckoo.


A couple of beers and one and half hours later in the still empty restaurant.


Me:-                      (playfully) Have you caught the cuckoo yet?

Waiter:-               (looking worried) Why would I have to catch it?

Me:-                      (helpfully) So we could eat it?

Waiter:-               (patiently) But that would make you sick sir. It needs cooking.

Me:-                      I was just wondering whether it would take much longer?

Waiter:-               (Looking puzzled).. Soon..


Six plates of fried chicken are eventually brandished by a triumphant waiter;


Every plate is a different collection of random Cuckoo body parts.


Team member that will remain nameless:-

Why is my chicken different to everyone else?

Me:-                      (note to self:- do not strangle team members in public)

Waiter:-               Would you like me to cook some more?

Me:-                      (resisting the urge to get violent) No thank you.. We will work it out.


Waiter:-               Good… (then somewhat hopefully) Would you like to book for tomorrow?

Me:-                      (unable to stop myself) Why would we do that?

Waiter:-               (stating the obvious) You might be hungry.

                                (massive smile as it is nearly tip time) Now.. would you like to see the desert menu?


Me:-                      (silently, slowly and repeatedly bangs head on table)

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