Published: March 1st 2011February 4th 2011
After saying goodbye to Vix on Friday, I went to go find a minibus to Kalomo. I found the taxi rank easy enough and asked a local lady which minibuses go to Kalomo. She showed me and when I asked her if she knew how much it should cost, she offered to go ask for me. So I waited for her to find out the local price and then went with her to buy my ticket. I had asked the security guard at the backpackers how much I should pay and he said about ZK30000 (R45), so when the lady came back with that number I didn't question it. It was strange being on my own - different. I think it will take a little while to get used to it.
The guys on the bus kept wanting to take my backpack, but I don't think I was ready to part with it just yet, so I feigned ignorance and just took it onboard with me and put it by my feet. It made the trip a bit more uncomfortable but I felt like I had one less stress to worry about. 2 local men started talking to me on
the bus about South Africa. I didn't mind at first but I got quite annoyed at the one guy because he kept hinting (not so subtly) that he wanted money, or a sponsorship, or a friend in South Africa who could help him. I get so angry with that 'give me a hand-out mentality'. I told them about the idea of starting your own business to decrease unemployment and ultimately alleviate poverty. I told them about social entrepreneurship and that I would want to work in Africa to help build communities. I tried to explain how pumping aid into Africa isn't actually helping anyone. After that I put my headphones on and listened to music for the next 3 hours.
I got off at Kalomo and immediately I noticed everyone starring at me. I know they still see white people, but I think I stood out like a sore thumb with my white skin and big backpack. I was getting hassled by one of the guys in the bus stop so I just walked off in the first direction I saw and when I got to the edge of the crowds, I asked for the Council District centre and
walked there - it was very close. I waited for Ivo (who I would be couch surfing with for the next 2 days) there and then we walked back to his house.
Kalomo is very slow compared to the rest of Zambia and almost stand-still when compared to Johannesburg, but it was a welcomed change from the tourist scene, so I made the most of it by visiting the markets. The next day Ivo and I went walked through the town and then out into the fields. We walked in no particular direction for about 3 hours. I didn't have to worry about safety or getting lost or ending up on private property - you just walk. There was no time limit, no place to be or destination to walk to. It was really an 'off-the-beaten-track' walk which is effectively why I came here - to see local Zambia, no tourists, or touristy things to keep me occupied. I wanted to get a taste for local life in a smaller town and that's what I got to see. We walked to the middle of nowhere and back again for no reason other than to walk. It was so good
to be outside with no agenda. A pretty good first couch surfing experience.
There are more photos below