This is the twelfth in an ongoing series of posts that capture journal entries from my incredible trip to Zimbabwe in 1997. You can read more about my motivation for the journey and why I’m revisiting it now in the original post. I was 21 at the time I wrote this.
7/8/97, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe
I was supposed to go to the movies with Jayson, but he had more family obligations so I had Lucilia drop me off near the theaters in city center but they didn’t have anything I wanted to see. I ate at a place called Wimpey’s. They server breakfast, burgers, milkshakes, etc. It is a pretty common chain (no McDonald’s here), but the food wasn’t very good. Here the french fries are called ‘chips’ and you are expected to put vinegar on them. Lucky for me there was also ketchup on the table. I got a paper from one of the waiters and discovered that The Fifth Element was playing at Westgate, a mall which I discovered was very far away. I took a taxi and it cost me over $70z. I got out there early, a very fancy mall, but as I wandered around, most of the shops were closed because it was Sunday.
I bought my ticket, only $13z! Then I looked at the fabric store, I haven’t figured out how much meter of cloth is so I didn’t want to buy anything. They had some really nice polished cotton prints, $80z for 5 meters. The woman there said it was enough to make one outfit. Everyone around the mall and in the theater was clearly wealthy, no one from Chitungwiza would go to this mall. It made me feel a little uncomfortable. The movie had assigned seats which was strange, but the movie was good, it was nice to lose myself in something familiar.
The taxi was waiting as I had instructed, to get back I just gave him $100z. He let me off at the wrong bus stop though and I had to ask several people where to go. The bus stops have recently changed so nobody really knew where to to, it was getting dark and I was getting pretty worried. I finally was directed to the right bus stop for Zengeza 3 and actually managed to get off at the right stop and find my way home unmolested. Florence, Anna, Kuda and Tapiewa were in the living room with the fireplace going. They had just returned from a weekend in the ‘rural areas.’ Francis was asleep, I guess he had too much to drink. The power had been off due to high winds and it went off again soon after I got home. We ate around the fire and I went to bed, exhausted from my adventure.
Continued in Part 13