Being stuck in these power cuts has been horrible, forcing me to take a lot of trips down memory lane. Yup, I’ve gone through them all; the good times and the bad, the fun and the not so fun, the moments that have brought a smile to my face and the moments that make me say “Ya, I’ve seen some shit in my life”. During today’s power cut, I stumbled on a box labelled “Photos” and I went through it. What stuck out the most were the pictures of my past travels, from when I was in nappies to my recent ventures in Lephalale, South Africa – a small town in the middle of nowhere but a delightful town it is. I would like to share my travels over the years and the joyous memories I experienced.
Chinhoyi Caves, Zimbabwe
I looked through the pictures and I could see it was a family trip. It’s great to know that I started at a young age being a tourist in my own country. Still in my nappies and the world was alien to me, my parents took me to one of the major tourist attractions in Zimbabwe. A massive limestone deposit that leads to an underground cave with water pools that could cool you off on a hot day. The pools have a soothing, light blue colour that transcends to darkness. In a way, it’s Zimbabwe’s very own Caribbean blue water or a really large cocktail. I don’t suggest swimming but pull out your cameras and snap away. There are no pools like them on earth. As a baby, I remember trying to swim but obviously my mum wouldn’t let me. She held me close as this was the beginning of many adventures we would have together.
My mum and I traveled with SAA to the United States of America. As a kid, it’s as good as going to the moon. The US has always been the “trip of all trips” and I got to do it at the age of 12. From the moment we landed, my eyes were open, my jaw hung onto my face and my mind was constantly blown. We stayed with family friends and we spent Christmas there. Ya, I got to experience “Christmas shopping”, sales and the “Christmas rush” in America. Shopping malls were MASSIVE and they had toy stores. Imagine being just over a meter tall and you see a “Toys R Us” hyper-store through the window of the car, as you are being shown around the city. It was too much to handle at that age. A factory FULL OF TOYS! I don’t remember speaking my entire time there. I was constantly in awe.
I remember watching cartoons and they used to play with snow, make snow men and snow angels. I got to make a snow angel. Yup! 12 year old Zimbabwean kid that failed to speak because he was in constant awe. I made a snow angel and I got to play in the snow. Horribly cold but I was living one of many childhood dreams, playing in the snow. My mum being my mum, put so many clothes on me, I was sweating in minus temperatures. I tried to take the layers off but she wasn’t having it. If I took a layer off, I could never play outside again. What kind of threat is that?
I always woke up early. Jet lag and acclimatising meant nothing to me. I had a different cereal every morning (because I could) and I would sit in front of the 100 inch TV and watch cartoons. Nothing like cartoons and cereal to get your day started. I had my first experience of American football in the backyard and the odd game of basketball in the driveway. I was an American. =)
I was privileged to go to France on a cultural tour. We flew with Air France and our destination was a coastal town called Boulogne-sur-Mer. Lovely town with great people. The sun set at 22h00 and would rise at 05h30. What the? What was wrong with this place? It was weird. Edward Scissorhands weird. The school where we were residing had a basketball court and every afternoon I could be found there, shooting hoops with the locals. I showed the French a thing or two and eventually I was called Iverson, after the NBA star Allen Iverson. Ya I had skills! But truthfully, I always wore Iverson branded kit so it was easier to call me Iverson as opposed to Tendai. Unbelievable! It was an amazing time in that town but the highlight of the tour was the day trip to Paris.
By far the most majestic city I have traveled to. People call it “the city of love” because people go there and fall in love, as it’s a romantic destination. I say it’s the city you may fall in love with. Everything about the city is beautiful. The Eiffel Tower (got to stand under it but never got to go up), Le Louvre (saw from the window of the bus), L’Arc de Triomphe (drove through) and Notre Dame de Paris (took a walk inside). BEST FIELD TRIP EVER!
“This is unbelievable. Look at this. There is no city [Paris] like this in the world, there never was!” – Gil (Midnight in Paris)
There is no city in the world that is more beautiful than Paris at night. Why? The Eiffel Tower! I saw it from the window of the plane as we were flying out, and at the time, there was a light at the top that rotated. Similar to that of a lighthouse and it was mesmerising. It confirmed my love for the city and that is the one place I would love to go back to. Paris is the definition of absolute beauty.
I had a great time in this city visiting family after having flown with British Airways. It was just massive and I could not understand how a city can function like this. It was scary as it made me realise I don’t know what the “big city life” really means. I had fun though. Problem was, I went in summer and the tourists were in their thousands. I could only see the sights and I was content with that. The infamous London Eye had an extremely long queue, I was convinced people stood there for hours. Time I did not have because avoiding rush hour was a top priority. King’s Cross becomes a beehive which can be overwhelming for a tourist like me.
I took the tour of the River Thames and I got to experience British humour. The tour guide was hilarious and he made the trip educational, entertaining and eye opening. An awesome tour especially going underneath the London Bridge. Yes I sung “London Bridge is falling down”. I couldn’t help it. It just happened. Big Ben was awesome. Hearing the clock chime at every 15mins was hypnotic. Who knew a clock could be so entertaining? I never got to hear noon being struck. That’s on my bucketlist.
“Taking the tube” was the highlight of my trip. It’s a daily thing for Londoners but for an African kid like me, it was the shit. London is a massive city and there is activity on the ground and under it. A lot of activity. In a way, it seems like an ant colony. People are constantly moving. When do people stop to admire their city?
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The original Seven Wonders of the World. Is there anything that can be said about this place that you don’t already know? Took a road trip with high school buddies of mine and it was quite the experience. Definitely worth going back. I had the craziest time with my friends. From white water rafting to bungee jumping to a sunset safari drive. It was absolute fun. The bungee was quite the experience. 111m off the bridge that connects Zimbabwe to Zambia. I was freaked out and I have a video. For obvious reasons I will not upload. I watch the video when I’m having a bad day. It lifts me up because I CANNOT believe what I did. Great fun though and a must do when you are there.
The white water rafting was the highlight of the entire trip. As I write this I’m laughing to myself. We went there hoping not to fall into the water. We even made plans, formulated moves that would ensure we stayed in the boat. Little did we know in training they forced us to get into the water. *shakes head* By the second rapid we were all in the water. So much for our plans of staying dry! From then on, it became a contest as to who will survive the rapids. By the fourth rapid we lost track as we were all in the water. Again! It was a bucket load of fun and you need to take your friends with. Vic Falls should be your destination this December.
Hello neighbour. I’ve had the pleasure of going to Durban for basketball tour in 2005 and 2007. I struggled to breathe! The humidity was a major issue and my Iverson status from France did not exist. I blame the humidity! A lovely city with one of the best promenades in Africa, if not the world. The promenade complimented with the sound of the waves gracing the Durban beach, was extremely soothing. There were a lot of couples holding hands at the time. It makes sense. My dating profile will now say, “Likes taking long walks on the Durban promenade”.
Johannesburg was another city I managed to visit. Friends and family are there making the “business hub of Africa” a social place to be. Another massive city which rattled my comfort levels. JHB is fast, it’s massive and it’s a lot of fun especially at night. Anyone who has partied in JHB will tell you how much fun they’ve had. It will explain why there is always traffic towards the city on weekends from neighbouring cities. My dating profile will now say, “Likes to have a good time in JHB”.
Cape Town, my one and true love. I’m in love with Cape Town and I long for her touch. Listening to Back to the Beach by Shekinah and Kyle Deutsch reminds me of the Mother City. The lyrics describe how I feel about Cape Town especially “Said the city [Harare] don’t feel me”. My dating profile will now say, “Willing to move to, live in and grow old in Cape Town”. From what I’ve read about dating in Cape Town from www.ctgirlwitharedscarf.wordpress.com I may be the city’s saviour.
I have traveled a fair amount but I have not done enough. There is so much to see and so much to do. Paris is top of the list, a tour of southern Africa, travelling to Asia, South America and Australasia are on my list. I want to experience new things, see the sights and create new memories. If you noticed, I mentioned the airlines I flew with. The best part about travelling is being in the plane. I love flying and I don’t know what it is but being up there, confined to a metalic tube, flying at 900km/h is “homely”.
Someone take me to Paris.