It’s Christmas morning, and instead of opening presents, eating some scrumptious breakfast with family or whatever Christmas fantasy I can conjure up… all I am doing is freaking out. I can’t find the piece of paper that has the phone number of our next accommodation. So, I don’t have an address, directions or even the name.
We are bound to wander streets of Maputo, on Christmas day. But after much thought and prayer (yes, I pray over lost things, after a while you get used to having to pray to find wallets, passports, even things like pens), the crisis is averted. As obvious as it seems the paper is found in the boot of the vehicle under the camping chairs. Now I can breathe easy… all we have to do is call… nope, not so easy. We don’t have a SIM card, so we can’t phone anyone. We spend the better part of the afternoon trying to find a place that sells SIM cards on Christmas Day. Apparently, no one does.
Finally, we get desperate and I try to find someone who speaks English and preferably not a psycho, at the petrol station. After displaying the saddest face I could muster a very kind man lets me use his phone, and we get at least a destination we can put into the GPS.
So we find ourselves at a very fancy hotel, and as I stroll in wearing sweats, a tank top, and flip flops hoping to call again and get the directions I need. I end up having the loveliest chat with the man at the front desk – one thing I love about Africa? That it’s about relationships… we have chatted for five minutes before I even bring up my request.
We finally make our way without trouble to the guesthouse. I could go on about our accommodation – it’s a missionary guesthouse run by two old sisters (who clearly haven’t left the house in years), with the younger one of the sisters obsessed with the notion that everything is demon possessed. It was beyond awesome.
But really, it was lovely to be in a city where there were sidewalks, cafes, and of course, the sea. A visit to the museum brought great fun and then having to bribe police after a bogus traffic offense was oddly exhilarating. Naturally, the smell of rubbish from overflowing bins on every street corner and broken beer bottles strewn about are just things you come to expect from an African city.
I love asking after travelling to a city: could I live here? The answer is yes.
But four nights was enough to experience the highs and lows of Maputo… now off to Durban, South Africa via Swaziland.