Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mosquito repellant? What?

After more than three hours of sitting and seething in the deserted airport in Livingstone, we finally heard the sound of a door opening. 

Mr D and his armed escorts had returned.

We were pretty glad to see him by then. 

The guards motioned at us to get up. We walked back over to the other side of the arrivals hall (our waiting area seating was actually inside Zambia so we apparently needed to leave the country again to queue up in front of the immigration counter). 

At last our visas were processed. Mine looked like this. 

Not especially impressive looking, but hey. Who's complaining?

And guess what, I can come to Zambia again and again, for three years, until February 2010. Wonderful. I'm booking my trips right now.


We all breathed sighs of relief as we piled into the people carrier that would take us to our hotel.

"We just need to make one quick little detour. We have to stop and sign for a cash advance at the Crocodile Farm."

"The Crocodile Farm?"

"Don't ask."

A few miles later, we turned down a dirt road, pulled up at a small shopfront, and Mr D went in to sign a slip of paper.

Miss T and I stayed in the minibus. Signs posted on fences surrounding the car park warned against wandering off the beaten path. Roaming crocodiles, evidently. Miss T and I decided not to push our luck.

And now, onward. Because Zambia wasn't even our final destination.

We still needed to get into Zimbabwe. 

We reached the border. The driver took our passports and disappeared for 15 minutes. After the last border fiasco, we were anxious and sweaty, but it was no problem. We had our passports back, decorated with visas like this one.

Gorgeous, eh? And it takes up an entire page in the passport, but whatever. 

We arrived, finally, at the Victoria Falls Hotel. This beautiful old colonial establishment is one of the few remnants of European influences in Zimbabwe. Mugabe hasn't destroyed it because it's still a wonderful old tourist attraction, and one of the few remaining ways to get foreign money into his dying country.

We checked in, and Miss T went to her room and we went to ours.

Mr D sat down in the chair with a sigh.

I lay down on the bed.

"I just have to shut my eyes for maybe twenty minutes. I have an unbelievable headache."

Mr D didn't say anything.

In about half an hour, I woke, and wordlessly began dressing for dinner.

Mr D cleared his throat.



"Ah, well. Apparently.... uh, I was just reading the hotel information book here... and yes, um.... apparently this is classed as a malarial area."

I said nothing.

"So, yes... ah, one's to use mosquito repellant and take anti-malarials if one has them."

I said nothing.

"Did you bring any mosquito repellant, maybe?"

I said nothing.

"I'll take that as a 'No' then....   

           Does this mean you're going to divorce me now?"

No comments: