Friday, May 13, 2011

Lightening Up

Now that I'd smuggled my contraband Tintin souvenirs out of Democratic Republic of Congo, I had a mission.

Send the damn things home and quite lugging them around. 

I took inventory of all the souvenirs I was still carrying. 

A mask for Lisa. 

A Tintin for Larry. 

A Tintin canoe for Edward Readicker-Henderson. And a Tintin canoe for me. 

I went first to the stationery store to buy bubble wrap—no, I went first to the ATM in ShopRite plaza and learned that Zambia can take my Citibank card these days, hallelujah—and then went to the little supermarket a few doors down from my lodge, where a nice man gave me several boxes. But they weren't long enough. I gave up on packing, threw my souvenirs back into the zippered plastic bag again, and lugged them up the street to the post office. 

"No problem." The man behind the package-sending desk sends tourist's souvenirs all the time. He made short work of each piece, not bothering with a box at all.

"That's okay?" I asked, astonished.

He nodded.

"Yes. I do it all the time."

See? Zambia isn't going to give me some nonsense about smuggling out antiquities. Up yours, Kinshasa.

He wrapped each piece in a paper cover, taped the hell out of it, and chucked them all into the mail bin. 

Easy. Even if they looked strange. 

I celebrated with a visit to the Livingstone Museum before heading back to Fawlty Towers in late afternoon. I needed to get some sleep—I'd signed up to go on a game drive at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

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