Saturday, October 08, 2005
when we got back from lake malawi, we popped over the malawi border and had some authentic malawian beer, Carlsberg, otherwise known as Greenie. Our guide was a friendly money-changer who told us that we could walk straight across the border and noone would stop us (remember my passport is somewhere in the dusty halls of tz immigration in dar-es-salaam) and it was true. we walked through and behind the building to a bar with a pool table and a view of the bridge and the border office. how bizarre. our money-changing friend bought us beers in kwacha and we gave him the 'equivalent' in tz shillings. he surely ripped us off, but it was worth it for the small euphoria of stepping over a line that you're not technically supposed to step over and having a cold beer (no cold beer where we had been for 3 days sweating on the beach). i had clare's digital camera and we took pictures of people and showed them smaller versions of themselves on a tiny screen. they loved it. there were three old ladies who asked to have their picture taken. a very tall skinny lady, a medium tall one and a short toothless lady with a red scarf wrapped around her head. they said, take a picture! and i showed them their tiny selves and they pointed at the screen and recognised themselves. there was much hand slapping, cackling with delight and telling me i was mjanja (clever), the short one with a wrinkly hand over her toothless mouth. i ran back down the bridge to catch up with the others on the way back to the car, as i looked over my shoulder they were still laughing and being amazed and waving at me and shaking their finger at me as if i were personally responsible for the wonders. on the way to lake malawi, hamim told us about how the earth was created according to the koran, but on the way back he was grumpy because ramadan had begun and it was his first day of fasting. we were all eating sweet small bananas, because we were all christian or unsure. we were hungry.
at 4:18 AM