Discovering the City of Maputo
Trip Start Dec 14, 2003
28Trip End Jan 09, 2004
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Where I stayed
Everyone we talked to about the car or the trip said that they either: 1) didn't know how we would get to Malawi; or 2) didn't believe there was any other way to get there than to take buses since the roads were really horrible and nobody would rent a car to us (the insurance companies only allowed for driving in southern Mozambique, not northern on account of the roads)
We walked around some more and I tried to exchange traveller's checks at this very fancy hotel, the Polana Hotel. The lady there said that I needed my purchase agreement and it would cost $35 to do it. That was crazy! $35 no matter how much you exchange, and who carries around their purchase agreement with them? I didn't exchange my traveller's checks there, and instead we just looked around the Polana Hotel, which was an oasis in the [expletive]-hole of Maputo. So we continued to see if we could rent a car but everyone said it would be way too expensive or that it wasn't even possible to do it. We couldn't cross borders because of the insurance problem.
So we continued to walk and then decided to go back to the Base to see if they could help us get to Malawi. We got back there and after apparently irritating the man with questions in english for several minutes, the guy told us there was no room there for the night and that we could camp on the cement patio if we wanted to. We decided to see if the other backpacker's place, Fatima's Place, would have room for us. We wandered through the city over to that backpacker's place and it turned out that they did have room. So we got there and waited around for like 2 hours for the driver to get back so we could go pick up our bags and stuff from the Base
We picked it up and chilled back at Fatima's Place. We showered and stuff too. Then we decided to go walk around again. We walked over by the Polana Hotel again and decided to eat at Mundo's. It was a really good restaurant, and it was nice to sit and relax for once without worrying where we were going or waiting for something. We had a few drinks and some good food, and just enjoyed the surroundings of the craphole that is Maputo. Actually, the restaurant was a nice place. I had a Lamentina Beer and chicken Thai stir fry. After dinner, we decided to go to the movies. We basically crossed the street and went in.
Since we were in Mozambique, there really is no movie selection as such. The movie that was playing was Intolerable Cruelties with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones. We got some Fanta and popcorn and went in. There were commercials and stuff first like normal, and then the movie started. About 48 minutes into the movie, they had an intermission which was a little bit weird. It was at a weird part of the movie too, like right in the middle of one of the character's lines, in mid-sentence. We shrugged it off as this was Africa after all. We sat around wondering if there was a technical problem, but the movie started up again about 15 minutes later. We finished the movie (2 thumbs down) and decided to walk back. It was funny to think about how these Mozambicans, who are for the most part unemployed and barefoot, can have the money to go to the movies, and have cell phones, and even begin to understand what it was like to be a divorce lawyer in the US. We talked about this on the way back to Fatima's place, and though it was getting dark, I wasn't too scared to walk around at night as I was before
We walked all the way back and got to Fatima's. It ended up that we wanted to play cribbage really bad when we got back and it was a beautiful night, so we sat outside in the courtyard, drank cokes, and played cribbage. We decided to go to bed a little early because we had to be at the "bus station" at 6:30 to leave for the beach in the morning. We went to bed pretty early. There were some other guys in our room too. They seemed pretty nice but I wasn't really into talking to them, so I just laid there and tried to go to sleep. After the guys went out, there were these stupid South African kids who were being loud and crazy and obnoxious, slamming doors and breaking things in the middle of the night. It was really bad. I was having a hard time sleeping as it was.