Twitchers, Tommies, Spronking, Mosquitoes, Speed Hump

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Jan 4 16:10:19 UTC 2003

   Greetings from Mombasa.  There were no internet connections in Serengeti or Ngorongoro, but I should be connected for the rest of this trip (Zanzibar) until I come home.  Happy New Year, y'all.

MOSQUITOES--Hawkers who approach the vehicle while stopped at border crossings, selling the usual tourist stuff.

SPEED HUMP--A speed bump, also called "sleeping policemen" here.  This is from a traffic sign.  (A few of us misunderstood it for sex slang.)

WASTEPAPER FLOWERS--White flowers, seen all over.  They look like crumpled bits of papers.

MAGNETIC LEVITATION TRAIN--A German train that made it's debut in China last week.  Seen on CNN or BBC.

Harare: African Publishing Group
first published 1999, second edition 2000 (Copyright by David Martin)

Pg. 64:  The White Bearded Wildebeest, whose scientific name is _Connochaetes taurinus_, is affectionately known as "The Clown of the Plains" because of its comic behaviour.  It was once said of this lovable but scatter-brained creature that it had been "designed by a committee and assembled from spare parts."
(Wasn't that said of a camel?--ed.)

Pg. 64:  If this fails the contending bulls drop to their knees (Pg. 65--ed.) with their "bosses" (the bony protuberance between the horns) noisily clashing.

Pg. 67:  Thompson's (gazelles--ed.), or "Tommies," are one of the most attractive and delicate animals seen in the area.

Pg. 68:  When alarmed, THomson's flee in a series of bounds called "spronking" or "stotting" which involves the legs and head remaining stiff as they spring up and down rather like mobile rocking horses.

Pg. 71:  Frequently rhinoceros will be seen with Redbilled or Yellowbilled Oxpeckers, known as "tick birds," perched on them.

Pg. 81:  The "mega" bird
   The translucent coloured Angola pitta or, as it has been recently renamed, the African pitta, which advanced "twitchers" pay thousands of dollars to see, is one of the species found at Ngorongoro.
(How old is "twitchers" for birders?  In CASSELL DICTIONARY OF SLANG?--ed.)

Pg. 89:  Old Man's Beard.
(A plant.  OED?--ed.)

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