Vignettes from Africa IV – Day Trip to Zambia

Zambiaroadsign

ZNBC, Zambian TV was just a scream. At sign on at 6:00 p.m., Chinyama Mukuma, in a brown plaid jacket, and Bridget Nkhoma, brown blazer and a necklace with a cross, read us the news. It ran until they’d told it all, I guess. It started at 6:00 and ended at 6:18. Then some happy people down by a pool smiled and sang about how much they enjoyed "Saladi De-odorized Vegetable Oil." The next commercial was for the Gorilla, the Zambian equivalent of The Club anti-theft device.

The TV played videos on channel 4. They even played the warning against showing them in places like hotels.

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We gambled. Three games available down at the casino, roulette, blackjack and Zambesi Poker – five card draw with no drawing. You just bet your hand. Mirja and I bought 100 Z$2 chips each and pulled up at the roulette table. Every single croupier was a trainee, and the trainer glared at all of them, all the time. I lost all my money straightaway but Mirja won about all of it back, and still we were in bed by 11:00.

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While the sun rose over Zambia, white people disdained me over their cereals and fruit as I stuffed down sausages, bacon and cheese rolls. We changed hotels. Graceful, gracious, the Victoria Falls Hotel has a fine view over the fine back lawn, up the chasm of the Zambesi to the Zambia bridge and the falls' spray. Water costs more than beer.

•••••

The air parched, still, searing, we set out to walk to Zambia.


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