Monday, February 15, 2010

Dispatch from nowhere


Posting is becoming a bit of a struggle these days, though I'm doing my best to outfox this Malawian infrastructure. I won't be able to post any pictures for a while unfortunately, but as soon as I can I will.

I am still working my way down the lake one beach at a time, living the dream to the best of my abilities. This country is kind of a strange can of worms so far. It's incredibly poor, noticeably much more so than Uganda or anywhere else I've been- I think I heard that it's the 8th poorest country in Africa (so one would assume it must be up there on the list worldwide). There is almost no infrastructure, towns are tiny collections of shops with little inside, and people are just kind of ragged. On the other hand, it is somehow incredibly touristy and expensive. Mzungu price is in full force here and people seem offended when I try and tell them I won't pay 4x the real price. Everywhere I go there are a hundred local kids and men chasing me to try and sell bracelets and ganja (allegedly some of the best/cheapest in the world is in Malawi, although I of course wouldn't know anything about that). The roads along the tourist strip are great and there's delicious western food everywhere. It's a land of contradictions and I can't figure it out. That plus it costs $2 a mintue to call Tanzania 100 miles away.

Anyway, I'm in Nkhata Bay chilling out. It's a little village in the middle of nowhere turned cheap toursit destination. I'm pretty sure it's Valentines day, the place I'm staying had a big party with free watermelon/waragi jungle juice. A good time was had by all. I've been doing a little snorkeling and saw some fishes and crabs and such. I guess that's about it. I leave tomorrow on a ferry to Likoma island in the middle of lake Malawi, where I will have to stay for a week until the next ferry comes. From there I may go to Mozambique if I can get a visa, because the word is that due to 25 years of civil war, bridge bombing and landmines it is a relatively untouched corner of the planet- inaccessible by road from the populations center and capital of its own country. I'm just kind of moving with the winds, so I may or may not end up there or somewhere else.

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