Sunday, 4 September 2011

The king’s bed

Over the weekend I visited the King’s palace museum in Nyanza. This complex had a replica of a traditional king’s house and also the most recent residence of the King of Rwanda. The traditional king’s house was the really interesting one. The king’s bed was HUGE! Now I know where the term ‘king sized’ comes from.  It would be the perfect place to re-enact the time honoured ‘there was ten in a bed’ rhyme. Seriously you could fit half of a village in there. I did enjoy sitting on it though, right next to the ‘pillar of shame’ which young wives used to hide behind...Talking of wives, there were so many that they had to create a timetable in order to avoid each other when visiting the king.

I also found out about a job which gave women the strangest excuse not to get married. This job involved tending to the milk and making butter. Apparently it took so much time and was so labour intensive that any girl who did this for her job would be left without enough time for marriage. I’m just wondering how the line ‘I’m sorry I can’t marry you I’ve got to make butter’ would go down. Although in this part of the world butter is such a luxury perhaps it would be worth it. I succumbed and bought some in Kigali today. Mmmmm so creamy, its endlessly more appetising than blueband margarine which tastes like melted plastic and wax candles.

The outside of the King's traditional house

Inside the King's house

Our guide tending to the butter

Me pretending to tend to the butter

The king's bed

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