Thursday, January 14, 2010

Laughing (at myself) All the Way

Mma Ramotswe was scrupulously honest, but this did not mean she was above self-deception.
And thus are we all!

I read The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith when my husband went to Namibia. Botswana, the homeland of Precious Ramotswe and her friends, borders Namibia and shares some climatic and cultural distinctives. It was wonderful to be immersed in a slower, gentler pace of life and introspection.

When I saw a recorded copy of Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, I decided to give it a listen. I wanted to know if my imagined pronunciations were anything close to the real thing. After all, how do you say Mma?

Tea Time has proven to be another delightful escape into a quieter time. I love the simplicity of thought and action, the lack of frenzied busy-ness, as Mma Ramotswe goes about her days. Although my audio-book selection had been mostly spy/adventure action stories, I'm now looking forward to the lyrical accents of African gentlepeople as I drive my car to work and back.

The quote at the top of this post, regarding Mma Ramotswe's honesty, made me laugh out loud and kept me smiling through a meeting. Yes, Mma, I am victim to the same condition of the heart. Honest? Of course... except perhaps when it comes to my own motives and shortcomings. Oh, well.

Oh, and about Mma. It's pronounced just as it looks, sitting on the double m's for an extra beat. Try it!


K.M. Weiland said...

I keep hearing good things about this series. I love books with unique languages/pronunciations - though I inevitably end up butchering them.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the quote! So true of me too.

Katharine said...

Katie -- It really is fun to listen. On the other hand, I tried listening to one of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot stories, and the French was impossible for me to understand.

Sandra -- Glad you enjoyed this! Try as I might, I still find myself self-deceived now and then. Some of the things I tell myself are downright laughable!

Miss Kitty said...

This is making me want to visit Namibia. Tell us more!

Katharine said...

Oh, golly, Kitty -- you should give one of these books a read! It's a comforting experience. The author doesn't dwell on how things are done (what kind of stove they use for cooking, how many clothes are in the closet, how much money is in a paycheck), but he goes straight to the heart. Mr. McCall Smith is very insightful, indeed.