The Loch Ness Monster

I visited the ethnology museum yesterday, which I found exceedingly interesting, although it does help if you go already armed with a certain knowledge of the tribes in Sudan. Quite surprisingly for Sudan, I found the museum extremely well-organised and logically thought-out. Here we are looking at the Dinka and Nuer tribes. Now we’ll move on to the Shilluk. Then we’ll have a few displays on the Baggara. I sought out the curator and complimented her on the design.

At the museum, whilst I was looking for the curator (or at least anyone that could speak English), I was introduced to an elderly ex-seaman. He approached me clutching the area above his heart with his right hand. Oh my God, I thought, he is going to have a heart-attack. Sure, I wanted to find someone that spoke English to me, but I certainly didn’t want to put anyone under so much pressure that they collapsed at my feet.

We talked a little about the tribes, though he hadn’t really studied them and therefore couldn’t really help with some research I am doing. He then lent towards me, in a conspiratorial fashion, and said in a low voice: “I want to ask you a question. About Scotland.”

I nodded seriously.

“About the lakes in Scotland,” he said. “They have something in the lakes. A giant lizard or something. Have they caught it?”

“You mean the Loch Ness Monster?” I said.

“Yes, yes,” he said impatiently. “Have they caught it?”

It turns out that this seafaring gentleman had been in Scotland 35 years ago, and had travelled up to Scotland especially to see Loch Ness, following reports (which he clearly took quite seriously) that there was an oversized lizard swimming in its waters. I tried to explain to him that the existence of the Loch Ness Monster has still not yet been scientifically proven and that “some people think it does exist and some people think that it doesn’t.” But his limited Englishness or his stubbornness prevented him from listening to me properly.

“But have they caught it?” he insisted.

“No, they haven’t,” I sighed, defeated.

At this news, he seemed to go away happy.


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