Monday, April 16, 2007

Zanzibar II: Emerson & Green

We were told that dinner at Emerson & Green in Stone Town was not to be missed. Now that we have experienced it, I’m not sure I agree with that statement. It was one of the most bizarre and awkward meals I’ve ever eaten.

We made reservations and arrived at sunset. The “restaurant” is on the roof overlooking the city. Very beautiful. Guests are seated on pillows on the floor in a square around the edge of the roof in front of low tables. They squeeze in maybe 30 people, all of us staring across the square at each other. Dinner lasts for two and a half hours and by the end of it our legs had only fallen asleep, oh, a half dozen times.

There was a five course meal and the food was decent. Even more awkward than trying not to listen in on everyone’s conversations or even make eye contact with them, in between courses there were three musicians playing traditional Swahili music and—here’s the kicker—a woman comes out and dances.

The only thing to do was drink more wine. We chose the brand called “Goats Do Roam.” Too good of a name to pass up.

How do I do this dancer justice? I’m so sorry we didn’t bring our camera. She wore a white dress with a cloth belt twisted thickly around her waist. The belt seemed necessary to dance—perhaps to enhance the suggestive pelvic thrusts?—because when she finally lured one of the guests on to the dance floor at the end of the night, she made the person wear her belt. The dance was overtly sexual. There were really no other nuances to it. There were really only two moves: pelvic grinding or her ass in your face. She was out there all alone and her goal seemed to be to make extended eye contact with each of the guests as she thrust her groin at them. J and I kept our eyes on each other and ordered another bottle of wine. She was not getting to us.

But by far the best part about this woman was the look on her face. When she could no longer find anyone to make eye contact with her, she would stand in the middle of the room and get this orgasmic look on her face. She half closed her eyelids and wore this taunting little smile. Her teeth were slightly bucked and her look was so self-satisfied. Amazing. Amazingly awkward.

Five courses! She just kept coming back out for more. Lesson learned: Goats do roam. Dogs will hunt.

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