Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacation Days Two and Three

The continued adventure of my recent mini-vacation:
After eating dinner Sunday night I found out that some good friends were in town so Debbie and I headed over to the chinese restaurant where they were eating to say hello. We negotiated with the taxi driver to take us to the restaurant, wait 30 minutes and then take us to our hotel. After agreeing on the price we headed out. 
The restaurant was located in a place called the Showgrounds where during Agricultural Week it is packed with booths and shops but the rest of the year there are just a few business scattered around the different fields along winding roads. At night it is a bit  dark and spooky even though some of the best restaurants in town are located there.

We got a bit nervous when the taxi turned toward what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse. He started to drive up a ramp into a deserted room. I admit freaking out a bit at this point but then we turned and there at one end of the warehouse was the restaurant.

The entire seating area for the restaurant was upstairs. Only bathrooms were downstairs. --I posted a picture of a sign from these bathrooms a couple weeks ago.
That sign to the right of the photo is for a local African beer (ale) and yes, it is very common to have advertisements painted on the walls of businesses.

Remember we had negotiated with the taxi to wait for us for 30 minutes. Well, when we got to the restaurant he told us that he needed to go put gas in his car but that he'd be right back. We told him we were concerned that he would neglect to come back but he insisted he would be right back. 
Well, thirty minutes went by, then forty. Every time I called the taxi he said he was on his way. Over an hour passed without an appearance. We were getting a little worried. It was quite late at night and he also had a blanket in the car which I'd purchased earlier. Finally he called and said that he was outside the showgrounds but the security guards wouldn't let him in so he was coming in on foot to collect us. We started walking and boy, was it scary. Here I was with a relative newbie to Zambia trying to stay calm and reassure her that "sure, this happens from time to time. Nothing to worry about." We eventually met our driver and walked to the gate and he drove us safely home. Another adventure tucked away.

The next morning we went to the bus station to travel to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls. 
Debbie was eager to find a coffee shop, and look! we did!

The shop attendant asked if Debbie wanted the styrofoam cup to have a cover and when Debbie said yes, she peeled off some Saran Wrap and covered the cup. 

Our bus was advertised as a 'luxury coach'. This meant it had only four seats across instead of five and......(drumroll please)......airconditioning! Debbie was so grateful for the latter about halfway through the trip.

I was surprised to see so many Muzungus (white people) on the bus. Living out in the bush you forget how many tourists come to Africa. When we visit Lusaka with all the embassy personnel and tourists and missionaries we have to hold ourselves back from yelling and pointing: "MUZUNGUS!!" 

The bus ride was pretty much absent of adventures. I did see a drunk in the back of a pick up truck in front of us try multiple times to climb out of the moving vehicles. The other fifteen people crammed in the back with him kept pulling him back in. That was entertaining.
Then not so entertaining was the fact that the bus company chose to show a slasher movie (after first showing Rendition) as the 'on-board' entertainment. There was an American family right at the front of the bus with all these little kids. Thankfully the bus conductor finally changed the movie to G-Force. Much better!

You'll have to come back tomorrow to see what adventure awaited us at the end of our trip.

1 comment:

  1. oh my. What a wonderful surprise hiding there in the warehouse!


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