Saturday, January 14, 2012

Millionaires

When we crossed via ferry from Botswana into Zambia it happened. Instantly, we were millionaires. See the Kwatcha, which is the currency of Zambia, is so worthless that there are 5,000 to one US dollar. Craig starts demeaning it even further by referring to it as Crotch-a. The truth is we hardly have any cash left at this point. So now, we must decide which kid isn't going to college because we just blew their college fund on an African safari? I think I'm gonna say Ember. Because by the time Ember makes it to college I think pole dancing might have earned the recognition it deserves and she can earn a scholarship to be on her school's competitive team. Or maybe the Mayans are right and we don't have to worry about anything past December 21, 2112.



The day we arrived in Livingstone Ken hears that that very same morning, a girl was bungee jumping off the bridge that connects Zambia and Zimbabwe and that the cord broke. This rumor was all we knew at the time. Until a few days after we arrived home in Morocco and found out that this rumor was absolutely true and that the 22 year old Australian woman had miraculously survived both the fall and the crocodile infested waters below that she plunged into. Back in Zambia we didn't know that, or the fact that she was fine, there was a video and this was about to become world news. And the next day when we went to Victoria Falls we saw the bridge where it had all occurred just the day before.

Now, I grew up around Niagara Falls, which I assumed (mistakenly) was the biggest waterfall in the world. It's actually ranked number 3. Although, it ranks number one as the cheesiest most touristy wonder of the world, infested with casinos and wax museums on the Canadian side. And that fares better than the American side of the falls that is infested with drugs. Guess which waterfall ranks the second biggest in the world? Yup. Victoria Falls. (The first biggest, depending on your source of course, is Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Or Brazil. Also depending on your source.)

So, after growing up near the glitz and disappointment of a tourist attraction that was more about drugs, casinos and wax museums, I was delighted to be greeted by this small, simple, completely misspelled sign and some monkeys. Nature as nature intended it to be.



Wow. There aren't guard rails or signs to keep stupid people from doing stupid things like standing on the rocks in the rapids at the top of the falls right before the water plummets off the precipice.



And this was the moment on safari when I wanted to kill my husband.



Look not a casino or wax museum in sight!



And there is no Maid of the Mist boat tour with rain coats crowding the shot. But, there is a guy renting umbrellas and raincoats before you cross this bridge. But why in the world would you want to stay dry when it's freakin' hot outside? Except for the chick we saw who had full on make-up with her hair straightened to Jennifer Aniston perfection. She rented a raincoat AND an umbrella. I wish I got a photo of her. Thus starts the regret over photos I did NOT take while on safari...



Here we are wet and soggy and not looking anything like Jennifer Aniston.



Then we headed over the bridge where the bungee incident occurred the day before. Kitty corner from me on the Zimbabwe side of the bridge is where the bungee cord company is. And there is a long line of jumpers waiting their turn. I don't know if they didn't know or if they figured lightening doesn't strike twice. At the time, I didn't think of taking a picture or video of the bungee jumping. Which I now regret. But, I was too busy clutching Ember tightly to my chest while she looked down at the bungee jumpers swaying as they were being hoisted back up and begged me to let her do it. I do not regret saying no.



Here River is strattling both Zambia and Zimbabwe at the same time.



When we headed back to the parking lot there were lots of vendors. I wanted this funky straw zebra really bad, but they wanted $40 for it. Dollars not crotcha. It would've been cheaper if I bought it at World Market for god's sake. So I passed. Good thing too because I ended up getting the deal of a lifetime in Zimbabwe. Of course I didn't know that then.

That night Jess and Ken cooked us braai. What the crap is braai you ask?

First there are the onions caramelized in golden syrup.



Then buttered potatoes.



Then sausage and steak cooked over an open flame. A really big flame. A flaming flame.



And as we chowed down on what was an absolutely amazing meal capping a gorgeous day where no one fell into the rapids and over the falls to their death. Then, the really loud club music started from a couple of campsites away. So I ask you. Did we really have any other choice?

No.

So we raved.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO MAY CAUSE SEIZURES, DIZZINESS, NAUSEA, HEADACHES OR VERTIGO.



The kids did anyhow. The adults. We pondered the fact that even though we were millionaires in crotcha. We were broke in US dollars. But in memories? We're definitely millionaires!

Stay tuned for Zimbabwe...

8 comments:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You are cool parents. Rave on!

Sine said...

Ha, and we are not mere millionaires, but trillionaires, after a trip to Zimbabwe. Except that currency isn't even used anymore.

By the way, speaking of those rock pools you wanted to kill your husband over, have you seen the videos you can find on Youtube of people swimming in one of those right on the edge? And leaning over?

And lastly, (since I'm such an expert on South Africa:-), I puzzled over your meal to no end, wondering what it was, until it hit me - a braai! I'm sure no one bothered to spell it for you. It's the Afrikaans (but by now just generic Southern African) word for barbecue, and it can be anything cooked over an open flame or grill, and it's a national pastime.

The Loerzels said...

Thanks Sine, I went in and changed the spelling! And in Niagara Falls swimming in the tide pools above the falls equates to death. Unless you're in a barrel of course...

A Brilliant Life said...

I think you kind of do look like Jennifer Aniston in that family shot.

Christina Williams said...

That place looks so beautiful! Your family pic looks great.:)

Lalia said...

Love the post and all you're beautiful pics, especially the pretty straw zebra =)

Samantha Bangayan said...

Despite the darkness, that personal rave seemed pretty cool! =) Wish I were there!

I saw that piece in the news about the girl falling in after her bungee jump too. What a coincidence that you went there! =) Looks beautiful and I totally thought that Niagara was the largest too. =P

Rohit Sareen said...

this is such an adventurous post. so makes me wat to get to this place. the waterfall looks so powerful and must be quite a thing to be moving along the little bridge against all that force on the other side!!!

super stuff...

and thank you for dropping by and contributing to Saturday Sareenity.

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