Monday, March 3, 2008

Lusaka, J-town, No Pictures Allowed

Lusaka, apart from being the capital of Zambia and containing the tallest building in Zambia, is the only place to get a guaranteed Tanzanian visa. Getting one on the train at the border seems, by all accounts, “difficult.” So, we decided to spend a few days here getting our paperwork sorted and exploring the city.

As we have discovered all along this trip, it helps to know a local to get out of the Lonely Planet rut. Enter Jonathan Kays from couchsurfing.com. He graciously invited us to stay with him for as long as a month . Although somewhat short of a month, we spent five days with the ever-busy Jonathan showing us around the city and even introducing Kristi and I to his family. We have had the opportunity to hang out in compounds with Jonathan, go to nightclubs, meet many new people and generally have a city experience unlike any yet on this trip. The opportunity to see the full range of the city experience, from ghettoes to shiny new shopping centers and feel welcomed everywhere has been quite heartwarming. Plus, in a strange turn of events, I ended up seeing a gentleman that I met playing pool in Linda compound the night before at the bus station (15 km away) the next day. So, even in a city with over a million people, sometimes it can still operate like a small town.

One note of caution for visiters to Lusaka, DO NOT try to take a picture of the tallest building in Lusaka from the parking lot of the Citibank building. A bullying, yet unarmed, man will drag you to a sweet man with a submachine gun to let you know (after perusing your goofy vacation photos) that pictures are off limits. Nothing like a grinning man with a shiny gun cutting you a break for photographing landmarks.

-d



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Dennis and Kristi. Toos just told me about your site and I have greatly enjoyed reading all about your travels. I look forward to hearing about the rest.
Dave Arman
davearman@yahoo.com

leora said...

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS ARE SO DARK!