The marching sentries of Nyanga

24/02/2014 15:53

Written by Paul Murray

Most big hotels have uniformed sentries posted to check you in and out of their car parks, some of whom take their duties to the extreme. Nowhere is it more over-the-top than in Nyanga, notably at the Montclair Hotel in Juliasdale and at the Troutbeck Inn.

Upon your arrival at the car-park boom, the sentry emerges from his box, marching in the most exaggerated fashion imaginable and, amidst much high stepping, arm swinging, stamping and saluting, arrives at your car to enter your details on his clipboard. He then smartly about-faces and swaggers back to his box to await the next arrival.

Some visitors find these displays variously hilarious or a little embarrassing, while others see it as harking back to the bad old days of colonial rule. Whatever your view, there can be no doubt that these proud, older gentlemen take their ceremonial duties very seriously indeed, so by all means greet them with a big smile, but please don’t laugh at them.

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