Published in the Daily Monitor: monitor.co.ug
I was in Mozambique and had returned to my hotel after a hard day of admiring beaches. For the first time I walked through the bar area and noted its prettiness. But all I wanted to do was pee really and I couldn’t wait to get to my room.
When I quit the toilet, there was this beautiful music playing. A piano located in a corner that I had not noticed now contained a Caucasian male whose fingers were gently coaxing tunes out of the machine.
“Now this is customer service”, thought I. “They just saw me going to the toilet and tried to find a way to keep me here by quickly summoning their resident player”
I strode to the bar, hopped onto a stool and ordered a drink while I let my thoughts disappear with the music from the piano. Just as I took the first sip of my drink though, the music stopped! The man got up and joined me at the bar.
“What are you doing here?”, I did not hide my resentment. “I only just sat in this bar ‘coz you were playing the piano”.
“You think I work here?” he gasped.
“Don’t you?”, I countered.
“I’m a guest too”, he was contrite. “I haven’t touched a piano in ten years. I wanted to know what it felt like again”.
My pain was real and it showed.
“Do you want me to go back?”, he asked.
“Would you mind?”
“No. If it would please you, I’ll go back and I’ll play for you”.
That was honestly one of the best nights of my life. Sitting at a bar, listening to piano music from someone who didn’t have to be there. Eventually I asked:
“Is it okay if I take a picture of you?”
He waved his hands in a magnificent flourish and said, “Do what you want my girl!”