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Tuesday, 3 August 2004

Tout Capital of the World

Well we get out of Zam and into Zim. So far so good.

Some friends of ours are getting married on an island in the Zambezi this year. Purely for research purposes we make it our business to thoroughly vet Vic Falls and check out all the eating and drinking establishments. After all, we don’t know how long we are going to be here…waiting for someone to bring us our work permits…so that we can re-enter Zambia…etc. At A Certain Lodge I am presented with the best cocktail ever, with (à la Enid Blyton) heaps of ice and lashings of ginger beer. It is duly noted on the recce detail. It is some seven years since either of us has been here. Not a lot has changed. We discover Some Weird New Hotel – it is like something out of Sun City or Las Vegas and looks completely incongruous. By mid-afternoon we have been beaten into exhaustion by the relentless touts. They don’t understand that not wanting some carved wooden bowl at 10am means also not wanting it at 12pm, 2 pm, 6pm or the next day. We go in search of an internet café to see if there is any news on our work permits. There isn’t. But an hour later Delboy phones us to say that he has been to Immigration to pick up our permits, but they won't give them to him. Apparently we never had to leave the country at all, and could we please return at once to Lusaka to collect them ourselves. Gaaaah!