Day 7: All roads lead out of Lusaka...

As in the case of Rome in Europe, all the roads in southern Africa seem to be leading into and out of Lusaka. One may not describe the urban trading hub with many superlatives, but the mishmash of dusty streets, bustling markets and sleepy charm in its many side roads has an attraction of its own. A colourful anti-AIDS campaign lining up murals along Cairo Road is leading us north out of Lusaka. We follow the long road of trucks, donkey-led carts and bicycles overladen with fuel, wood and sweets.
It feels like being part of a caravan along Africa's famous trade routes. Every time we stop, villagers run out of their huts to sell us their fruit and mushrooms. We get soaked again, but that seems part of the deal by now. Today we go through our first serious police block. I'm happy to be able to show off all the papers I had to run after while at the border. Yet the officer seems more interested in the fact that apparently we seem to have stopped our Vespa a few centimeters after the STOP sign he was patrolling. We calmly ask him if he is jesting, yet he takes my papers and asks me to follow him to the side. "You didn't follow proper government order," he says, pointing to the sign. "But sir, I am right in front of the sign and still far away from the metal bar blocking the road anyway," I say politely. "But your wheel is sticking out," he says. And so it went on. "Your light is not on," he adds. "But officer, it is; you just can't see it, because it's still light," I reply. He waves the finger at me. Our chit-chat would have gone for a while longer if it wasn't for his colleague who found the pick-up truck behind us a better catch. They let us go. We move without turning around. Until Serenje, our next overnight stop.

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