On the road from Blantyre to Zomba
The journey itself were easy. Almost too easy. Everything were on time if not early, all papers were in order, the passport got the visa stamp of approval without any eye brows being frowned, the bag arrived without hassle and my ride to Zomba stood there, with "Malin Ullberg" on a sign, when I stepped out of the airplane. Too easy. Except maybe for the scariest airplane landing I have ever experienced.. The plane sank towards the ground waaay to fast, sometimes so steeply that the 'roller coaster-feeling' turned my stomach over. All passengers shrieked of horror, in unison. And when the plane hit the landing strip, it turned over first to the right, so that the tip of the wing almost touched the pavement, and then to the left, before gaining control... My legs were jelly for quite some time after that.
Fun fact; the whole Ethiopian national football team where on the plane from Addis Ababa to Blantyre.
From there, we covered the eighty-odd kilometres to Zomba in a little car. And my initial feeling was, well, very 'Africa'. Red soil, sparse vegetation, small houses made form burned bricks, women in colorful clothing, carring babies on their back and large parcels on their heads. Children running around, playing. Vegetable stalls along the road. And dozens upon dozens of white minivans, acting inter-city shuttle buses. At one point, my driver (which is the head of the chemistry department) stopped along a few such stalls, and within seconds we had six people hanging in through our windows, offering carrots, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and peas to us. A kilo of tomatoes costed me 150 MWK, which equals something like 3 kr. And now I'm sitting here, on a red velvet sofa, with a surreal feeling in my gut and a headache from all the relieved tension and stress, and from the lack of coffee.
I. Am. In. Malawi!