This is the eighteenth 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.
7/20/97, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe
Next stop, Sarah’s, a hip hop nightclub downtown in the city. It was a nice club and much better than the place I went to while in Bulawayo called the Silver Fox. The Fox was one of the worst places I have ever been to. All the women were ugly and badly dressed, the men were slimey. I couldn’t even dance without being jostled by 3 or 4 men trying to grind on me. It seems that most women who go to clubs like that are whores. I’m told it’s similar in Chi9tungqiza so I won’t be going dancing here either. The clubs in Harare seem to be different though. I liked Sarah’s because it was a true mix of people, black through all shades of ‘colored’ to white. I felt comfortable there despite the hip hop atmosphere. Everyone was nicely dressed, especially the women and I didn’t feel harassed by the men there. Most people there live in Harare so they have money, people in Chitungwiza probably couldn’t afford the cover charge or the price of beer. Sometimes I feel a little guilty but I would never be happy here if I didn’t go out and to the things that are more familiar to me like riding motorcycles, eating out, going to movies and going dancing. I’m getting more than my share of poverty just living here.
I’ve found a good fast food place called Nando’s. Sara, the Canadian I shared my room with in Bulawayo recommended it to me and it has great food. It is a Portuguese chicken restaurant which serves chicken, chicken burgers and chips, it’s heaven. I’ve been pretty brave (I think) in trying local foods. I’ve drawn the line at tripe though. Today I had Zimbabwean biltong, which is like beef jerky sticks. I had some in South Africa but it was in chunks, not sticks. I’ve tried sugar cane which is sold on the street in tall stalks. It is too sweet to eat a lot of though, you peel it and then chew on it, sucking the juice the spitting out the stringy plant part. There is this roasted corn on the cob that is sold on the street too, it is nice and warm and you put salt on it. Maput is roasted popped corn but different from popcorn. It is bigger and chewier, it comes in small bags. I suppose I should be worried about getting sick or something bus so far I’ve been healthy except for a sore throat which is probably caused by smoky clubs and bus exhaust. I’ve been drinking the water which is safe here too. I guess I’ll keep my fingers crossed. The weather is getting warmer and I’m looking forward to summer.