The pestering of “taxi! Taxi!” and “you looking for a safari?” are nonexistent in Lusaka. Getting off the minibus station was easy and effortless. A few “Chinese! China! Japan!” are easily countered with a more sarcastically voiced and high pitched “Somalia!!”. I figured that Somalia is totally the place no African wants to go this side of the continent right now, subjecting them to the wrong nation will help them understand how it makes others feel.
There are lots of schools in Lusaka. Not just schools, but large malls, shopping centers, and fast food restaurants sprawl all over the city. The malls are state of the art Westfield like malls, along with air condition and all the western brand stores. Each mall even has their own movie theater. This place is very different than Tanzania.
However, the money that went to the building the malls should be used to improve the sidewalks. Well, there is no sidewalks in Lusaka. People just walk in the various kind of dirty path along the well paved road. The traffic is pretty bad, and people can’t drive. That is normal for Africa, but having no sidewalk means each local has a story of their own of seeing pedestrians getting hit by a minibus while walking on the street. When it rains, sidewalks become lakes and rivers and walking become pretty difficult.
The malls, the streets and the shipping places make me think if gentrification. Very popular concept in the slums of America. Let’s build nice buildings the locals can’t afford to make the area look good is the slogan. Fancy malls and restaurants attract well to do people to come and spend money but the money never goes to the people who struggle to live there.
I didn’t stay too long in Lusaka, so I can’t personally confirm my thinking, but people wise, they are much nicer and much more polite.
English is common on the streets, because the different tribes all speak different tongues and English unite the difference.
I have two goals in Lusaka: relax and hopefully get my Moçambique visa. One of them I failed. The embassy asked me all the same documents everyone else asked and I don’t have flights there, and I don’t have hotel reservations, so I guess Pretoria will be my last try. I tried to explain my situation and giving that everyone in Africa takes the bus, I don’t know why “this is Africa” isn’t a valid excuse for getting my visa.
Some Ethiopian who went to Harvard did tell me that American passport will get you through any borders. A very stupid statement for someone who went to Harvard. I take his advise with a grain of salt, because he did also say that he had an injection for malaria. However, some other conversations did lead me to believe that I could get a visa to Moçambique easily by paying slightly more money at the border.
I had some interesting conversation about Donald Trump at the bars with locals. They say Trump will win, but the fourth Reich won’t happen because as a president he will not be allowed to do what he wants. It is the beauty of democracy. They listed their own presidential election as an example. Their president won on racism against the Chinese. However, the first international meeting he conducted was with the Chinese. This is the problem, if a bad candidate was elected instead a better one, we as a country still lose even if we won’t become a racist fourth Reich. I think their thinking is changing as Pope Francis said Donald Trump is not a Christian. I’m laughing.
The relaxing in Lusaka was achieved properly. I watched Deadpool in a state of the art movie theater all by myself, for only 4 dollars worth of Kwacha. I can even bring food in. Then I drank coffee and watched champions league. There are many interesting people to talk to, and a lot of farmers and other men of occupations of the European origin. They were born in Zambia and worked in Zambia. You don’t see that alot in Tanzania.
Even the villages are different here. Better build villages can be seen in the plain. The land is vast, on the high way all you can see is land. Land stretch so far that you think you can observe the curvature of earth. Land stretch so fat the puffy clouds connect with the land at the horizon. Among these lands, thatch roofs huts are scattered here and there. They are the Zambian villages.
I don’t know why thatched huts, but there are many, and it gives a very Caribbean vibe. The Lusaka weather is very much like Arusha due to higher altitude, but every where else is scorching hot.
I went to the bus station to purchase my tickets and I lied my through the crowds selling me their buses until I found the one I was looking for. I told someone I’m going to Somalia and he told me I shouldn’t go there, its dangerous. I kind of felt bad about how much of a dick I was being, but the I’m going to Congo and Somalia lines get people off my back as efficient as deeds get rid of mosquitoes.
Talk about mosquitoes, there seem to be pools at every property in Zambia. That is both good and bad. You can swim and chill, but the mosquitoes lay eggs in the water and there are quite as few of when the scorching sun goes down. Compare to Tanzania, the mosquito nets seem to be an necessity, but things could be worse.
I wanted to stay more, but time is getting thin, the time I allocated myself for south Africa and Moçambique is being compressed even more. I hate the fact that I have a return ticket that I can’t change, but I’m not made of money, it was the most economical way.
With all that in mind, I actually boarded a really comfortable bus and off I went to Victoria Falls.