I mentioned in Lilongwe that my bank cards had expired unexpectedly. Since then, I’ve had to use my credit cards and incur ridiculous cash advancements fees in order to draw cash.
According to the Swiss Post international mail delivery time schedule, it would take up to 10 days for mail to get delivered in Zambia, but only 4-6 days for Botswana. With 18 days between Lilongwe and our rest day in Maun (Botswana), I figured Maun would be the safest option. I e-mailed our camp hotel there. They immediately replied with the appropriate mailing address and confirmed that they could receive and would hold the letter for me. My sub-tenant kindly forwarded my new bank cards to that address. Great!
Upon arrival in Maun, it took me fifteen minutes to explain to the girls at the reception that they should check whether they had received a letter. They were not able to do so, but had me wait for the person who had initially answered my e-mail. Once again, it took me fifteen minutes to explain the issue to her. I showed her our e-mail exchange, but that didn’t seem to make any difference.
“E-mail?” she repeated multiple times, as if she had never heard of the concept of physical mail before.
“No, a letter, physical mail”, I exhausted my patience.
Finally, I got the answer: No, they hadn’t received my letter—so she said. Meanwhile, however, none of the hotel staff even bothered to look for it! The lack of basic common sense and organization surprised me once again. How can they possibly operate a business like that?!
“It’s because of the Easter weekend”, the girl tried to explain. “Please check again tomorrow.”
So I did, late afternoon the following day. “Oh, we didn’t receive mail today”, the girl shrugged off any form of responsibility. “We need to go to the post office to get the mail, but our driver isn’t here today.”
“How often do you go to the post office to collect mail?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Do you go like every few days, or once a week?”
“I don’t know.”
There was no point continuing that conversation. TI freaking A!!!
Stage 68: Maun – Bush Camp (Botswana), 155km
Road & traffic condition:
Good tar, rough and few potholes at times. Limited traffic.
The usual—sunny, pleasant in the morning, up to around 30° C in the afternoon. No more rains.
Shepherd’s pie and salad once again; followed by surprise ice cream!
Bush camp amidst the infamous African thorns—blow-up mattresses and sensitive tires beware!
Yesterday, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found 99% dark Lindt chocolate at Woolworths in Maun. And it was a lot cheaper than in Switzerland! Enjoying it with a cup of coffee in our bush camp in the middle of nowhere was quite a highlight for me.