This blog started as a way of keeping friends up-to-date with Zambian life but it now also helps generate money for the poor here in Chikuni. If you like what you read please click on an ad to help the people of Chikuni.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Lusaka Express

The western edge of the dam on a cold Sunday morningI welcomed the alarm after a wretched night of fitful sleep entwined with tear-jerking half memories, thoughts of a future love and “what ifs”, all choreographed to 65daysofstatic. Ninety minutes later, beautiful tall gnarled trees stand proudly in black silhouette against the cool dawn light as a new day is birthed from the horizon; this sight alone more than makes up for the early hour. Minutes later my favourite vista in all of Zambia appears as we crest a hill and the valley below, which must stretch out for over a hundred kilometres, is bathed in the soft pink light of dawn. Mountains on the distant horizon produce a topsy-turvy sky and the sun beyond them is only a few minutes away. Not long after, down in the same valley we come to a temporary statutory stop before crossing (yet again) the seldom used railway line that links Lusaka and Livingstone. The morning fog here in the bowls of the valley is light and patchy. It makes for a one more beautiful sight as the railway line heading northeast towards Lusaka disappears into the fog while at the same time people are walking towards us along the line who are in varying degrees of emergence from the fog. All very picturesque! This is the second “memory photo” at this crossing. The first was on the return leg of my trip to Lusaka with Gian when a group of boys were sitting on the railing just before the crossing. Annoyingly, both times I have been unable to photograph the moments and so the images only live on in my (often forgetful) mind.

It’s the colour and movement that catches my eye and draws my attention away from the conversation. It’s her shape that makes my head turn. Hey, whoa, hang on a second, I’ve missed this; well dressed talent (Irish slang for cute girl)! And it’s not just singular either but plural; sweet eye candy how I’ve missed thee… Now for clarification and in order to not get lynched by my local (female) audience, I should point out that there’s no shortage of good looking girls in Chikuni but most of it is out of bounds for one reason or another and is invariably wrapped up in a chitenge. A chitenge is a piece of patterned material, measuring roughly 1x2 meters, worn as a sarong and while functional (and more importantly tradition) it’s far from flattering. Many a cute derriere or lovely pair of pins are hidden away for private viewings only. This incidentally isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my humble opinion. It’s just that having it on display is a nice contrast to what I’ve been used to in my village life.

Radio Chikuni through the smokeThis productive little day trip to Lusaka was wonderful, a delightful day to contrast against my quiet life in the village. Amongst other things, I drank coffee, I wrote, I people watched and I browsed through shops. I felt the buzz of crowds of people going about their own lives and remembered what it’s like to live in a city. I leave you with this funny little anecdote though which happened to me as I found myself walking up and down the aisles of a supermarket. (In your best David accent) Look. CHOICE!! And look at all this fresh fruit and vegetables. And look at the eh…, oh dear Lord, look at the price! Quick, get me back to Chikuni…

Your day-tripper in the middle nowhere

No comments:

Post a Comment