‘Home’ in Chipata – yippeeee! VERY pleased to be back, with John, Stephen and I, plus 2 vehicles all intact – well we will be when the quinine comes out! However, before that, what about today? I promise you we’re not making this up!
Stephen (in new vehicle) left his rellies and went to the Avis leasing office, from whence we’d found it, to get the final document required, the Bill of Sale. From there he took Isaac (the agent selling Avis leased cars that have been repossessed, like ours) a copy – he was at his dentist!!!! This involved travelling from one side of the city to the other in the rush hour – please read previous blog pages on Lusaka drivers to appreciate in full. Stephen was then due to meet us (in old vehicle) on the road out of town at the petrol station just past the HUGE white concrete chicken that sits somewhat incongruously in the middle of a round-a-bout? (Are you keeping up?!) HOWEVER call from John and I, in the garage of the hotel: please come, vehicle won’t start! Another trip across town! Blue plastic tape secures both the metal and gubbins parts of the vehicle key back together again, (don’t ask!) and heh presto, engine roars to life as per usual. We couldn’t get out of there quick enough. But poor Stephen’s day was about to get even worse when he was fined K300 at a road block, en route to the garage, as the bonnet of the vehicle wasn’t fully secured. Things COULD only get better which, with the thought of home, they did.
The good old work horse (with key still intact) bombed along in our sometimes strung out convoy, with Stephen having the joy of the new vehicle in which he doesn’t have to struggle to shift gears. Meanwhile John and I discovered yet another part to the Roads Department driving game – points awarded for spotting the frog ponds before you hit them. Points awarded for ponds with the orange earth (it really is) showing through, as they show up easily; for ponds still lined with tarmac and thus harder to see, and max points for spotting the latter in the shade cast by the trees. Points, of course, for each one avoided, including those sent to completely unnerve you that have been REPAIRED with orange earth! Absolutely no time to get bored until crossing over into the Eastern Province over the Luangwa River and on to the fantastic road courtesy of the EU and a couple of others. Well done John and THANK YOU EU.
However, still much to keep us amused/bemused. Spotted on the way out of the city:
Icy Spicy Restaurant (both? Really?) Pimp Styles Boutique (don’t go there)
On the side of a petrol tanker: Driver instructed to stop at railway crossing (good idea!) On a bill board: TRIPLE AMNESIA – come along to the bash (can’t even begin to guess!!)
At the toll booth just out of the city operated by “The National Road Fund Agency” a very large notice saying You are entering a corruption free zone
(not very far then!)
And some signs painted on the front of the little stores etc along the way:
Everything Goes Agro Store (best avoided!) SSemsy Sweat Dealers
(I have NO idea either???) Mwapsi Bar perhaps rhyming with collapsy bar as they’d bought their drink from the Tingling Liquor Store. Just love it.
I’m awarding Stephen and John double medals!