Day 8

Another gap day as I await my journey to Joburg. I will be taking the Intercape bus, which runs a few trips per week from Livingstone in Zambia to Johannesburg (Joburg) in South Africa. I look forward to visiting the Apartheid Museum and to getting a feel for how the town was set up during the Apartheid era.

I finished up some bibliographic compilation for a professor. The area by the swimming pool at the backpackers has really decent wifi, allowing me to finish the grunt work without too much frustration.

In the morning, the reception at the backpackers also helped me to arrange for a tailor to come and take my measurements as I wanted the fabric that I bought to be made into pants and a top. I keep forgetting the name of this type of fabric, embarrassingly. They are ubiquitous here, as ladies wrap them into long skirts and also use them as baby slings. They are very sturdy cloth that come in a variety of colorful patterns. I tried to wrap them as skirts and the result reminded me of how I probably looked like as kid when I would wrap sheets around myself to play dress-up. Thus, the lady that I bought the fabric from in the market suggested that I could get them tailored. I really liked that lady. She charged me a very fair price of 20 kwacha for one and 35 kwacha for another; the higher price is due to the difference in material. I didn’t even bargain with her.

The tailor on the other hand, charged quite a steep price. But, since she already came all the way to the backpackers, I wasn’t really in a good bargaining position. She charged 100 kwacha per piece. Compared to how much the guide at Vic Falls charged me, this was fairly reasonable. I asked politely if there is a discount since I’m getting two pieces and she offered 10kwacha off for each piece, after I asked for 20kwacha off for each piece, she pondered for a minute and agreed. When she came back several hours later, the clothes were done and also really large/long! I probably should have been more specific about where I want the pants to sit on my waist and how long I wanted them to be. But trying them on gave me a good laugh. Whether I will actually wear them in public or not, they represent good memories that I will cherish. Her work is pretty decent, she definitely tried to style the way the prints would appear on the finished product. All in all, a good experience.

Other than the tailoring, I cooked my first meal here (pictured above)! A couple days ago, I cooked for the first time, but I merely boiled some lettuce. Today, I actually cooked with several ingredients. In addition to lettuce, I bought oyster mushrooms and macaroni from Shoprite and tomatoes from a street stand. The tomatoes weren’t as fresh as I was expecting, but I figured it was time that I make more street-side purchases to support local business. The oyster mushrooms were amazing-extremely fresh and fleshy! I made sort of a stew with the produce and boiled the macaroni. I had macaroni with chili con carne at the Chobe safari trip yesterday that was quite good and wanted to make something similar. I am tired of munching on bread and nshima hasn’t grown on me. I am a new fan of macaroni as a carb. Ultimately, I decided against the messiness of cooking meat in an outdoor kitchen with flies all over, but was really happy with the result. It’s healthy fuel for the 13hour bus journey ahead.

 

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