Tanzania had been fun and I was headed to Zambia and Lusaka, their biggest city and capital. It has been fun ever since I arrived. The local currency is Kwacha here and around 9.8 Kwacha is a dollar. The streets are broad and clean with tasteful African architecture. Lodges, bungalows, stores and dusty markets is Lusaka for you. I met up with old Welham Boys’ school mates Neeraj and Ashish who showered me with their hospitality and kindness. I was overwhelmed by their generosity. We went to Lusaka club for lunch and wandered around the Safari Park to see rhinos and deer. The night was in a beautiful club with lots of liquor and fine Thai foor. The club was filled with the clutter of glasses and the cream society of Lusaka dine here.
Then it was time to hang out with the Christ College gang Goma, Phiri and Moyo. We all hooked up. Goma, of course, helped me with my visa letter and we met Phiri at a night club. It was J&B all around as we chatted about old times and how time flies. Goma just went through a bypass as I informed him about my ailments.
“You see Goma, I have no physical ailments as all my problems are in my head. Being creative, I am diagnosed as schizophrenic. I get great bursts of inspiration where I begin to write great poetry and verses.” I said in a very animated manner.
Goma, playing with his mobile phone looked up and said “Ah like Rabindranath Tagore, the man who wrote that great poem.” Pat came my reply “Yes, Gitanjali, it won him the Nobel Prize for Literature” The evening was moving smoothly as we got a bit drunk and then moved to a posh Indian Restaurant for dinner.
Man, I was having Indian food after a long time. So I had keema mattar and chicken masala with naan and tandoori roti. Zambia is famous for copper, Victoria Falls and the wildlife. The people are very friendly and Indian food is easy to get here.
I stayed at a lodge in Chudleigh on the outskirts of Lusaka. Goma used to visit me there and I also drank with Moyo at the bar of the lodge. After a few days of meeting old friends and reminiscing about our history together, I felt a warm feeling in my heart and it felt as if I was at home here, but I say this about every country I am in at the moment.
Next day, I felt a little restless so went for a swim and chilled out on beer and chicken. I also tried the live video feature of Facebook for the first time and it has got a lot of views for me. But I had now decided to move base to Livingstone for four days and that’s exactly what I did with the help of Nick Daga and the Zambian Safari Experience. At 250 dollars a day, it was a steal. Victoria Falls, Lion Walks, crocodile farms and also fun at the river Zambezi was all waiting for me. It was as if I was ready to embrace Zambia.