Thursday, February 21, 2008
Random acts of coolness
People often say to me, "Mr Blog, you have an interesting life, spending half of your life in Australia and half in Africa, writing number two (in Exclusive Books, OR Tambo International Airport) bestsellers."
I can't lie, Legion of Fans (LOF), but those of you who know me know that I am a humble soul, so I usually reply with something meek, such as "Can't complain"; "mustn't grumble", or "oh, it has it's ups and downs". (Actually, that is a bit of a lie... I actually say, depending on the company, something such as: "F-ing A!", or "Too right I do!")
Anyway, there I was, quite content to be living my interesting life when I received an email out of the blue last night from a Mr Dominic Medley, late of the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Dominic, so he tells me, has been living there for the past six years working as a media type and contacted me from Cape Town, where he is currently on R and R.
In Kabul, he lived in a guesthouse called Gandamack Lodge which was once owned by Osama Bin Laden. The guest house's decor is themed on the adventures of George McDonald Fraser's fictional character, Harry Flashman. As well as offering decent meals and alcohol (neither of which was on offer during my sojourn in Afghanistan with the Australian Army in 2002), Gandamack Lodge also has body armour for hire to its guests.
Now that is interesting.
I really like getting emails from people who read my books and they come from all walks of life and many parts of the world. Apart from my mate JR (or Mike Williams as he likes to call himself these days), I don't get too many from people who've lived in Afghanistan in guesthouses where you can hire your own helmet and bullet-proof vest (or from places where you need your own helmet and bullet-proof vest to go to work).
Anyway, he'd just finished reading my fourth book SAFARI during a stay at the Matetsi lodges on the banks of the Zambezi River, in Zimbabwe, near Victoria Falls.
Part of SAFARI is set in the region, in the Matetsi Safari Area. Not only was Dominic kind enough to drop me a line about the book (he liked it, but was able to pick the twist), he took this very fetching picture of my book, overlooking the mighty Zambezi.
How cool, and nice, is that?