Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hi California

I'm in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique and just wanted to let you know that I'm safe and sound. The journey lasted three days, and I could hardly sleep a wink. Now that I'm here I'm sleeping non-stop. So this is jet-lag.

So far the city reminds everybody of all developing countries, Colombia, China, etc. with that odd mix of poorest poor next to modern luxury installments. The Africans manage to fit far too many people into a minibus than even the Chinese could manage. I was the last person in the door, head crunched down onto Janine's shoulder, whose armpit was in Tara's face who sat on the lap of some stranger who enjoyed it a little too much. Then the scalper managed to squeeze in behind my enormous arse and the passenger seat, how he did it I'll never know because I couldn't move to see. The journey was a bargain, though.

Outside the city there's still a ton of greenery on the outskirts which we saw on the ride from South Africa. The soil is terracotta. The people are black. That's the first impression, anyway. I'm definitely on another continent. Incidentally, this morning I saw the sunrise and heard the chirping birds (they tweet in another language) and the boring little brown birds are a startling sky blue here (for variety). Best of all, so far anyway, is that at night Orion is upside-down and below it lies a huge expanse of sky that remains uncharted according to me!

Gosh, it's hot. I'm dripping. I'm waiting to transfer to my project. We went to the beach, like you do. I swam in the warmest, saltiest ocean ever. I sampled real mangoes, bananas, pineapples and a papaya. No green veggies for miles, though. Of course I'm already sunburned, and that's with sunblock and clothes, thank you very much. I blame the stupid Malaria meds, which probably are useless anyway. The mosquitoes ain't so bad yet.

My Portuguese sounds oddly humorous, what with my English accent that can't roll Rrrs.
My teammates are still here adjusting to the time change, but we split tomorrow. Oh-er. Then I'll really rely on my Portuguese.

Well, I don't know what the internet connection will be like after I leave the city. I hear the postal service is worse than useless. So don't expect any postcards, too soon, anyway.

I'll try to keep you posted so that it doesn't seem like I've dissapparated. (I read the whole of Harry Potter 6 while waiting for a bus). Oh, I guess I should mention that I'm surprisingly comfortable at the moment. I suppose I'm more prepared than I first imagined. Still, I'm in the lap of luxury in comparison to most, mainly due to running water.

Right, then.
Over and out.

No comments: