Saturday, August 9, 2008

Catching Up

No pictures today as my flash drive was stolen. This isn't a reflection on Zambian society, however, as I was the one that stupidly left it in the computer. Actually I'm starting to feel really comfortable here. I no longer grab my wallet as I walk down Cairo road and today I went tramping through the narrow alleys of Kamwala market by myself.

I made a friend named Joseph who runs a small clothing stall beside his wife's vegetable stand. We discussed different kinds of Zambian greens and how to cook them. I bought a bunch of sweet potato leaves which he explained had to be de-stemmed and cooked with tomato and onion.

There is another green that I've had in a restaurant which is boiled with a powder called soda to soften it and then mixed with ground peanuts. The end result is kind of an herbal peanut butter. That's next week's project.

Also at Joseph's stand were baskets of dried caterpillars and little fish called kapenta. He was surprised that I'd eaten kapenta before but was quite skeptical when I told him the Malaysian recipe of frying them with chillies and peanuts. The idea of eating it with peanuts somehow was super weird for him.

On the topic of comfort, Zambians have a hard time placing me. Someone in town shouted konichiwa at me today. Later, the traders under the railway bridge (probably the sketchiest of all Lusaka's touts) while yelling at me in Nyanja, said the word "Chinese." After I shook my head another guy yelled Korean, Japanese. Canadian took them by surprise. There's a lot of anti-Chinese feeling going about these days, and for pretty good reasons. China just happens to be the most visible face of the new colonialism here and are mistrusted. Most of the mining operations here were bought by Chinese companies when they were privatized and now China has a hand in many more sectors.

So yeah. More photos soon. Also, check out my stuff on

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