I've Met Superman, Spiderman and Mr.T - Malawi
Trip Start Feb 19, 2008
8Trip End Apr 04, 2008
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We headed to Malawi's capital - Lilongwe. This was great news for the stoners who stocked up on Malawi Gold. They had been singing about it to the tune of Spandau Ballet's Gold the night before. Malawi money is ridiculous. I took about 20 quid and needed two wallets to fit it all in.
Back in the truck, one of the stoners exclaimed to his crew 'Did you know were doing a safari in the Serengeti?' They of course mumbled no. This is actually the highlight of the trip. What did their itinerary say? Get smashed, the end?
We arrived at our camp for the evening, Senga Beach on Lake Malawi. I showed off my slightly less flabby body and went for a dip. I say dip, it was more like being tossed around in a washing machine. It was very windy and when I came out I felt as if I'd been beaten up.
The next morning, after picking up the stoners at the local bar - they'd fallen asleep on a table tennis table this time, we set of for our two night stay in (sweet) Kande Beach. I upgraded to the dorm as soon as I got there. My dorm mates were the stoners. Room to myself I thought. That night my iPod was plugged into the bars sounds system and people nodded their heads away to the sounds of DJ Al. Then suddenly my music came off. Faithless blasted across Kande Beach as one of the stoners appeared from behind the bar yelling, 'Choon!'
The next morning we were on a village tour
Superman asked me my name. I replied Al, as Alistair often comes back incorrect. Superman said, 'Your name is Elephant?' This has happened alot. I have been called Alan, All, Abraham, Lal and Lionel. Here's some others
'Your name please?'
'Can you spell it?'
Writes down B 'And then?'
'OK Bal, see you later
Here's another when I was booking skydiving, quad biking and sand boarding.
Me- 'I'd like to sign up for all 3'
Girl - 'OK Alfie. What would you like to sign up for?'
Anyway, back to the village walk
I told Superman and Spiderman I should have a suitable name as well. I thought of Lex Luther, but didn't want to upset Superman. I went with Dr.Evil. The tour took us to the hospital, school and orphanage. The kids there loved having their picture taken and then having it shown back to them- something common in Africa. I filmed some of the kids mucking about. They laughed their heads off when they watched it. Now, I thought, it's time to bring out the big guns - the Biro pens. Many people have said to me bring pens. What they neglected to tell me is that it starts a mini riot. They went potty. I had to be rescued by Superman.
Alot of the kids hold your hands and tell you they have no parents, which is pretty hard to hear. One kid begged me to pay for him to get through school. I asked his teacher how much. It was 75 quid a year for three years, so I agreed. Little did I know that he was now being sponsored by five other people in the group as well
Later, Superman and Spiderman took me to their store/hut to sell me some pictures and carvings. Superman asked me what my favourite animal was for a carving. I said a Hippo. He replied, 'a hippotatomuss?'
At the store were two of the young/dim girls on the tour. Now prepare yourselves for the haggling line of the year.
'How much is that?' - Girls
'Five pounds? I'm not paying that. You're ripping me off. You maybe poor, but I don't have alot of money either.' Nice.
After the tour, we went back to the beach. I played cricket and was shit. Later that night, one of the stoners came back from the beach. Our guide asked if he'd heard the villagers playing drums. He replied, 'Why can't I play drums on the beach?'
We left Kande Beach for Chitimba. On the way we stopped to see a rubber tree plantation, which sparked the mouthy girl to start singing 'Rubber Ball, I keep bouncing back to you'. God help me. We then stopped at a market buy some fancy dress clothes for a party
We ate near the market and soon had an interested, yet hungry audience. At the end, we gave them left over sandwiches, which I handed out. I was better at handling this riot. Later we camped. I upgraded to a hut which looked like something out of a horror movie. This campsite as a bit crap.
The next day we would enter Tanzania, where the stoners would ask, 'When are we going through immigration?' To which our guide replied, 'We've just been through - you know...where we showed our passports.'
Should have the Zanzibar blog up tomorrow night. Probably won't have a chance to upload anymore pics until I get back - which is next week, so see you soon.