Peeping Toms February 10, 2015
There are few things more pleasurable than an outdoor bath under open African skies. Doing this at Kosi Forest Lodge in one of the widest bath tubs I have ever encountered, set in a sand forest next to an ancient tree which perfectly catches the seeing sun, is pure heaven. Well almost.
You see I am a bit of a prude – alright then – a great big one. This affliction is so severe I have well developed compensatory strategies. My sophisticated plan is three-fold. First, I check from inside the bathroom (at all heights) what can and cannot be seen. Second, I check from outside the bathroom, under all light conditions, if one can see inside. Many a glowing behind has been seen of those mistakenly thinking when it’s dark outside, you cannot see inside… Step 3 involves surreptitiously glancing at other people’s bathrooms from the main walking paths, to check for any final loopholes. This step necessarily involves some guilt and self-recrimination, but is key to the triangulation of the comprehensive strategy. Finally I am satisfied and sink gratefully into my beautiful bath at Kosi Forest Lodge. It is as private as private can be, perfectly screened by a reed wall which completely surrounds the bathroom. The soft, flickering lighting from the paraffin lamps creates the perfect relaxing atmosphere and I breathe deeply to appreciate the fragrance of the forest and bubble bath.
Still I struggle to relax. I cannot shake the feeling that I am being watched. I do another scan and mental checklist of my earlier reconnaissance and gently chide myself for being so skittish. But the feeling only intensifies. I simply Know that I am being watched. I draw the bubbles closer around me.
Finally I see them – not one but two peeping toms! They watch me as nakedly curious as a tourist in a game reserve. The one, a large scaly lizard in the tree next to me stares unashamedly, even coming closer for a better look! The other is a Woodland Kingfisher, turning its head from side to side as if I may reveal its supper in my watery pool. At least he has the decency to fly off in shame when he realizes he’s been spotted. With an up-down, up-down turquoise flash he is gone, leaving me to sink gratefully back under the warm water in delight.