OLD PA'S WEDNESDAY CLUB
THE SUDAN PT 1
BRIAN WILSON - Love and Mercy (1988)
I was sent over to the Sudan to support the Cargo Section for Saudia Airlines cut over to an Automated Cargo System.
I had asked the local guys to find me a cheap Hotel as I hoped to make some money out of the trip as I needed a new stereo System. I knew there would be not a lot to do as it was now a strict Muslim country and they had public floggings for the terrible sin of drinking alcohol. It was 1988.
I was a bit surprised landing in Khartoum at how dark it was compared to landing in Jeddah where it looked like a fourth of July fire work display.
I was picked up by Ali and taken to a Hotel or what looked like a Hotel. It looked very run down and all I remember seeing was the white of eyes of several tall black men giving me the stare. I was ushered to a room and Ali said he would pick me up first thing the next morning and then he was gone. The room was basic there was no lock on the door. I went to what was supposed to be the bathroom and again there was no lock. There was running water, just. It wasn't very clean.
I thought what have I let myself in for here. I wanted cheap. But this. This was down right scary. I did not even have any local Currency. It was pretty late so I tried to get some sleep and I would sort it out tomorrow. I was experiencing the aptly named African Hotel.
I told Ali the next day that really this was not suitable and I wanted something a bit better. He would not hear of it. After all it was his brother's Hotel and he would arrange the best room. He had arranged a good price of $5 US dollars for the weeks. At that price I would suffer it and get that great looking Kenwood stereo I had been after for some time. I had my trusty portable cassette player (all the tracks played on this and the next post featured on this cassette play list I had made especially for the trip) . I was stacked up with Pot noodles, chocolate and nuts. During the day I ate at the Airport Canteen.
The new room was slightly better, there was no window just a shutter tied with wire and it looked on to a small court yard. Locking doors in this Hotel just did not exist. Think Kenwood was the order of the day.
Ali dropped me of the next night and ask do I like a drink. I answered well I have been know to have a little tipple.He said he would pick me up later and we will look for some alcohol.
He came back later and quickly handed me a brown bag and said he would pick me up tomorrow at the same time. In the bag was a bottle of Johnny Walker Scotch. I drank the bottle that night and had some pot noodles and a great music session. I was worried however what to do with the empty bottle and had visions of an International incident and a public flogging.
Part 2 next week
NENEH CHERRY - Buffalo Stance (1988)
Brian Wilson - Love and Mercy/Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance
4/ 5Oleh Old Pa's Corner