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victoria falls – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

Capsule Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

I knew that Journalist is a dirty word in Bob’stan.
But surreal, in all the ragged over-use of that word, is the only one that can describe the furtive act of scrawling “Graphic Designer” in the occupation field on the immigration card.

There are other things I learnt in Zim.

  • I found that I could call on the power of GraySkull and prise a lift-door open with my bare hands after a power-cut had me stuck somewhere between the third floor of the hotel and oblivion.
  • You will not find a single coin-operated vending machine anywhere in the country. The Zim$100 000 note is the smallest denomination accepted by Zimbabweans (correct at time of blog). It’s also the first currency I’ve ever seen with an expiry date. The stupid tourist in me was overtaken by the novelty of being given Zim$3.5 million in lieu of ZAR30. But you spend millions in seconds, and all you have to show for it is the corny photograph you took of the notes spilling across your palms.
  • I ate what looked like fish fillets and tomato chutney. I now know that crocodile tastes something like chicken, but not quite.
  • Mosi oa tunya. Indeed it does. And it’s the smoke that leaves you soaked and in awe of the sheer tenacity of water that cleaves through the earth to assert its path.
  • The sunset over the Zambezi is perfect. That’s it. Perfect. Not even a bunch of Indian guys yelling Hindi across international borders to their Babhis over their cellphones could mar the incredible all-encompassing ‘Perfect’ of the moment. And after over-hearing the ‘baw majaa’ comment to Bhabi, I know they thought so too.

Some visuals here.