Day 10 – An Unlikely Hero

Saturday, 14 Jan ’17 – Mozambique

I set my alarm for 4:00 so I can be ready to get off the bus by 4:30, well it wasn’t even quarter past yet when the security guard came and “woke” me up. So I get on the road and start hitchhiking. I see the signs say the road goes to Xai Xai but I have no idea how to pronounce it so I wrote it down on a piece of paper and showed it to someone at a filling station. Even though they couldn’t speak English, I got the pronunciation when he exclaimed: “Ah, Xai Xai”, he thought I was looking for directions so he just pointed me toward the road in the direction of Xai Xai. Got what I came for thanks… By the way, it sounds something like Shai Shai, in case you were wondering.

It wasn’t long before someone picked me up but he wanted 200Mt. from me to take me to Xai Xai, which isn’t really that bad considering that that’s about R40 and Xai Xai is still about 250km away. I don’t even have twenty so I ask him to stop so I can get out. In no time, two older woman picks me up, they speak a fair amount of English and after they hear what happened to me, they hand me 50Mt. to at least buy myself something to eat, since I haven’t eaten since Thursday. They are going to a small village on they so I get off about 20km further.

Surprisingly, the first car that passes me stops, it’s a Mozambican police officer and his two brothers. They are going to Xai Xai as well. Not much more to tell except that we had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere so we had to change the wheel. After that, we’re on our way again. We reach Xai Xai about 2 and a half hours after they picked me up. First, we stop at a restaurant and he lets me use his computer for internet access since mine’s battery is flat and an adapter costs 200Mt. Guess what, all my accounts have to be confirmed when I try to access them from a different device, confirmed with my cell phone number, my South African cellphone number which doesn’t work in Mozambique. What else could go wrong?

After that, we try an internet cafe, maybe we will be lucky… Well, it’s the only internet cafe in town and it’s closed until next month. In the meantime, the guys who helped me left because they need to be somewhere.

I walk out, once again I have no idea where I’m going to sleep tonight. So what should I do now? What else? Go to the beach! I spend 10Mt. on a bus to the beach. I arrive and there is no place on the beach with some shade and I feel like I’m about to spontaneously combust. I ask the lifeguards if I can sit next to their cabin since it’s the only available shade on the beach. I sat there for about an hour, just staring at the waves. I wish I could’ve gone for a swim but I couldn’t just leave my backpack laying around on the beach. And the lifeguards didn’t seem all that trustworthy either.

I hitchhike back to town and go to a filling station. There are some tables and chairs next to the shop. I decide that I will go and sit there during the night. It might be the safest place to be. I finally spend my last money on some water and a small pack of biscuits. Dinner is served!

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After sitting there for about 6 hours, a kind of shady looking guy shows up and says that he saw me sitting there a few hours earlier. I told him that I have nowhere to go and I want to spend the night somewhere safe. “Well, my friends and I are having a braai and there’s way too much food for the five of us so why don’t you join us. Afterward, you can spend the night at my place and take a nice shower”, he says. Uhm… Why the hell not, I am kind of hungry anyway. We have a great evening and when we get to his place there’s only one bed. He demands that I take the bed, he will sleep on the floor… I felt so bad.

Anyway, I’m going to sleep now. Good night.

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