Babwe Bussing

I have been sorely lacking in the update department because of my departure from relative civilisation. I embarked on an investigative journey into Zimbabwe and returned to tell the tale. As it turns out, it’s not all guns blazing, Bob propaganda and low fuel gauges after all. It’s a country wriggling through the dilapidation that surrounds it bearing a grin, holding a Newbury cigarette in one hand and a gin and tonic in the other. This is the Zimbabwe that I experienced at least - it could be somewhat biased and completely uncalled for, but I blow the trumpet nonetheless.

I departed South Africa with a dear friend, both adventurer and inhabitant of Zimbabwe, overwhelmed by excitement and tinged with a degree of trepidation. It began terribly enough, the bus company (I shall leave them anonymous so as to avoud unnecessary conflict) managed to lose our bus booking, despite it having been arranged 3 weeks prior. With luck and fortune two seats had remained available and so we departed. With less fortune, the bus had left behind a number of tardy passengers and so we waited for them in Midrand beneath the thundering sky and surrounded by excitable chatter and bird-like banter. Believe me when I say that i would have rather missed the bus. An 18 hour journey with limited leg room, broken air conditioning, sweaty comrades and blown speakers is no joke.

The road ahead was streaked with the lights of north-bound cars and the forward hurtling sensation seemed too surreal. I’m sure the soggy sandwiches we packed for the journey didn’t help the matter as the cat’s eyes dotted the road as we journey forward, with nothing bu the lights to guide us. The bus itself swift and certain of its path and the passengers agree as merriment consumes the cavernous space. It must have been the holiday spirit. The excitement of the journey homeward. Almost certainly, I am the only tourist aboard.

The matter clarifies itself at Beitbridge border and I am immensely grateful to have been accompanied by a regular who knows the ropes and the ways because the signposting is blatantly absent and the officials are less than helpful. The entire crossing took us roughly an hour and a half. Brilliant, in many opinions -it is a common occurrence to be stuck in this grubby crawling arrangement for seven hours. I looked up and thanked my lucky stars that dark early morning that it was not me who had to put up with such appalling circumstances.

Off we set again, into Zimbabwe. Harare heralding us as the landscape swept by. I fell asleep soon after the crossing and dreamt of the pleasant flight home I would be awarded after my gruelling endurance. Thank you Kulula.