23rd Mar 2012
Last night’s meal at Bomas restaurant was fantastic, for starters I had some crocodile tail, bream, guinea fowl and salad, followed by Warthog, Buffalo and Kudu steaks, there was the usual Sirloin and some sausages for the Germans but i thought better to stay local, and very nice it was too. The Buffalo was a bit chewy, but nowhere near as Kathy M’s Minute Steak, Christ my jaw has night mares every time she suggests cooking. I gave the worms and all the bugs a miss and let all the testosterone fuelled kids shove them in, swiftly followed by a visit to the loo. I had enough of that crap after my surgery and that was every day eating....no more thanks. I stuck to fresh fruit , cream and a crème caramel for pudding. I was well and truly done. Ian one of the kids from our lodge, yep we can’t shift the buggers, asked for a bit of everything and was still chewing his way through the main course when we were on the drum section. Have you ever tapped one of those bongo things, after a while you lose all the feeling in your palms, to be honest after about 3 x Lion beers I couldn’t feel my hands anyway. We bonged our way through several tunes cheered on by the compare, and eventually got conned into buying one of their CD’s. Well to be honest it beats Disco Dave and Bloody Rhianna. And to be perfectly blunt my choices for the next 2 weeks are either African Mumbo Jumbo or Julie on the Piano and her friggin “Do you know what it is yet?” Thank heavens they write the name of the supposed song at the top of the page. I stopped saying thank god when the cousin in law took the cloth. I know can you imagine me having anyone remotely religious related to me? FFS I have a Vicar in the family, he went through God School and everything. Good on yer Brother Colin he promises to say a few kind words upon my demise, well if you can’t rely on family to lie for you when the time comes, what hope have I got?, Time came to go home and can you believe we were the last to go, Mike was in deep conversation with some Voodoo Witch Doctor Fortune Teller, he threw a handful of bones in the air and where they landed predicted Mikes future. Call me old fashioned but I saw this as a crime scene, I was ready to call in Barry Fitz from work to identify and age the bones, I was convinced they were last night’s non payers. Mike was having none of it, apparently he will make Chief Constable, and have 10 children, brace yourself Cheryl, and have a car that makes it through the MOT without welding. I made my way to the vans and was made by a chorus of Urdy Gurdey” Where is Mike” He is having his bones read I replied,. That stumped them. Lovely Girls, but a constant reminder of Jenny! Oh bless, every morning when I am dressing in the pitch black I think of you and those Denim Shorts from your travels. To be honest I was coming round to your way of an explanation that there were few opportunities for laundry, and you suggested that you had thrown the contents of your suitcase away on your return to England. Knowing Jenny I expect she grew quite attached to those shorts and we will see pictures of Jenny in her shorts at this year’s BBQ. She just cant shop for the right shorts and needs “Old...yes I am qualified to say that, OLD Mother Stuarts advice on dress code. If Mrs House can wear Kinky underwear at her age, you really need to get a grip Jenny!! Life is Like a Box of Chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get next” (Forest Gump”)!!
The alarm went off at 0530, who said this was a holiday, we had decided to have a quick wash, scrub and hose down with deodorant this morning. We made our way to reception and disco friggin Dave turned up with Rhianna blasting, at the border we were met with 3 coaches well we never moved so fast to get out of the van and into the queue, there were hundreds of the buggers, and the queue soon mounted. Usual surly immigration, frightened to smile in case they farted. Bulllshit, bullshit bullshit, pay up then you’re through. We were greeted the other side of the border in Zambia, by monkeys, they were cheeky but funny, if you followed the rules like us, you were safe, but the travellers with bags full of food were getting special attention. The time soon passed and our transport arrived. Frances our guide, actually older than us buy a long way, guided us through Zambian immigration, by jumping the queue with us in ignorant pursuit. We batted off the cries of queue jumping by the poor buggers that had been travelling overnight on a coach, to watch a couple of white guys walk to he front, I think I would have been pissed off too, but Frances was adamant that we were special, know I had always known that mike was SPECIAL, but to be lumped into the same category was a new experience. I did a Dave Evans, winked at the guy complaining, grabbed him by the bollocks and said “let’s go sweet cheeks”. There were no more issues at the border!! We drove uneventfully to the airfield, and there we saw it....an empty air apron... hmm that was a bonus somebody else was trying out the flying machines before us. Eventually we heard the buzz and there it was a big wing with a little engine! Chivalry being the better part of valour, I let mike go first, he was away and flying before you could say “Hudson River”. My time came and I boarded the Micro light. Before I knew it we were airborne and the view was spectacular. I enjoyed 15 minutes of some awesome views of the falls before we flew back to the airport and landed , it was all over so quick, but well worth the money!! We were treated to a viewing of the photos taken on our behalf, and they warranted a purchase of the CD. Unfortunately we don’t have access to a CD player so you will have to wait until I touch terra firma in the UK.
Once landed we headed for the Zambian side of the falls and took some pretty good photos. We headed back to the border but stopped off at the Bungee Jump....... cafe!
We sat and watched as some completely mad twats jumped off a perfectly serviceable bridge. Mike was gagging to jump to prove his manhood to Cheryl, I reminded him that regardless of his small appendices, she appeared to care for him, and it would be foolish to throw such devotion away....especially at his age!!. We wandered back to the Zimbabwe border, only for the wind direction to change and the skies open upon us. I was beyond caring by now. We made it past the baboons and to the Border Checkpoint only to be stung for another $55 for the pleasure of feeding the expensive habits of Bobby M and his friggin corrupt to the core country. We bit the bullet and got a cab back to the rest camp, dumped our cameras, then ran the gauntlet of annoying little hustling pedlars, selling curios’ and bangles, Julie would kill me if I dared to take them home. They seemed to find it amusing that I was fearful of my wife, I explained she would barter them naked and homeless for 50 cents, they stopped laughing and said “shit that is one scary lady, does she work for British Airways?”.... I rest my case!!
Now rumour had it that because we had stepped foot in Zambia, we would need to get a Yellow Fever jab before we could land in South Africa, luckily we had been given the name of a Dr in a nearby village that would oblige. We had booked in to see him yesterday only to be informed that we needed to have 10 people to receive the jab so that his quota wasn’t wasted. He assured us that he could get enough by Saturday morning and to phone today, Friday to confirm. The news was not good!! Oh FFS! We needed thinking time to make a plan so we headed for the market where I used my wife taught bartering skills and got Mike a full set of the Big 5 made from wood. Initial price 60 Bucks, the salesman called himself King George, well I couldn’t help myself and squeezed his crown jewels until he agreed a price of $20. Trouble is, it was such a good deal I had to get some for myself. He was stuffed, so sorry honey we have some woodwork for my study, believe you me it is nothing compared to what Mike is intending to subject Cheryl to.....he was on a roll, and so was his cash. WTF?....you get somebody a bargain price and they spend twice as much on other things? We headed back to Rest camp for some sustenance as we were a bit hungry, seems obscene to say starving in this country. We needed some normality so we logged on to check all our flight options and requirements for the Yellow Fever Jab. Looks like we were buggered, we needed that jab! Trouble was Mr Doctor wanted to charge us $50 just for the certificate with no jab, we discussed this at length and decided to make a stand and hold our ground. We walked friggin miles to seek advice. As our flight to Joburg was with BA , we looked out the office, apparently it had changed location recently and was miles away, undeterred we walked there, spookily enough it was located on a street called Gibson Street,( Julies maiden name! ) We spoke to a lovely man who very helpfully suggested he could change our flight so we flew from Vic falls, Zimbabwe side, oh I can just hear her ladyship saying “why didn’t you do that in the first place?” .....Well because we didn’t know that CoAir was a subsidiary of BA. It might cost $50 but we would have had to pay that anyway to leave Zimbabwe and enter Zambia again, and then there was the queues, they were miles long and would possibly add another hour and a half to our experience. That problem solved we were cooking on gas.... not so fast kimo sabi, they have stamped your passport, you are f*****!!
I was losing the will to live. Okay we needed that jab and the accompanying certificate. Mr BA called his wife, as we were transported to the medical centre, they suggested that we purchase the Yellow Fever serum from a pharmacy with a sterile needle for $75 and then return to the hospital where they would charge $5 to jab us, we went to the first pharmacy in some top notch hotel, no joy they were out, next we headed downtown, they only had a 10 dose amount and no single doses, we explained our dilemma, and to give the guy his due he rang around and tried all sorts for us. He couldn’t understand why the original Dr we had been to couldn’t administer the jab, his excuses about needing 10 people were bullshit, he could daw off a dose and stick it back in the fridge and it was good for another 30 days. He explained all the complexities or not as the case may be, of storing the drug, and suggested we should challenge his refusal to give us treatment over his profits. I liked this guy and was on a mission. Out of all other choices we went back to Rest camp to gets Mikes Passport and we walked back to the surgery. The camp as Christmas receptionist was no match for Mike butch demand to see the Dr. Within 2 minutes we were outside the door, next in line. On the long walk there, trust me it was friggin miles in the hot sun, we had discussed our options, the corruption and all things bad about our situation and had decided to let the twat hang himself and then have him. Good Cop Bad Cop routine! We would declare we were job, and were uncomfortable with the situation and whilst we were happy to pay, we weren’t happy to be part of a deceitful act and risk getting in the poo in South Africa. I suggested Mike do the talking as he was more diplomatic (Good Cop). We entered the office, and Dr smug bastard reminded us how unfortunate we had been and that we couldn’t have the jab, but could pay for the certificate anyway. Bollocks, I had my fill of this bullshit, and in Mikes words had a “Hulk moment” (Bad Cop) Dr No, got both barrels about corruption, deceit and how he should be ashamed of himself. I explained what we knew about the storage conditions of the vaccine and how he was really pissing me off. Dr No, suddenly became Dr, yes, yes, yes!!, how can I help you?, he mysteriously produced a phial of vaccine in date and good to go! We had the jab and got the certificates legitimately. Dr Yes was very humble in his dealings, and accepted defeat, we remained calm professional and courteous, and Dr Yes was left in no doubt that he had made the right decision. We paid the $50 and went on our way with a slight smugness. I even winked at Gaylord at reception on the way out. F*** em!! . As we walked back to rest camp we passed the Police Headquarters and there was a big sign outside that said “For the Law, For the People, For the Country...I am going back tonight to add, and For the Money...Twats!!
The people here are lovely, they are really friendly, even in the ghettos, and are suffering hard times due to the absolute corruption that runs this country. The Police are a disgrace and a complete embarrassment to the profession. I remember joking early on that if you wanted a visit from the Police, they would ring you to ask how you would like to pay for the diesel, 3 weeks down the road, I am disgusted and feel for the people of Zimbabwe. When the corruption starts at the top, you haven’t got a hope in hell!!
We got back to camp tonight and decided to have a quiet night in, well to be honest another quiet night in as we have hardly been boys about town. I had a real dilemma as I still had ¾ of a bottle of Gin left, I had a couple in the lodge but then we decided to go to the restaurant for dinner. Now my issue, what to do with the remaining Gin. I immediately thought of our friend Barbie and how she would deal with such a situation? You have to remember that Barbie, a seasoned traveller and drinker would suck any spilt wine from the strands of a carpet rather than waste it, so me having to waste the gin was a sacrilege. No I am not bringing it home, I will donate it to our neighbour, as we passed her lodge tonight I could see her standing in the doorway with her head in her hands with 2 kids screaming in the background. She deserves a drink!!
Tonight we enjoyed a steak, with some chips, nothing on the Coventry Arms but a welcome feast regardless. Tomorrow we start the journey home and if we get a chance will update you. Thanks for sticking with it, can’t wait to get home now !!