I arrived in Maputo last night after a long and stinky ride. 9 hours on a bus beside a drunk guy. No chickens or goats with which to share my seat, so instead I just shared my extra lichies with the local kids in the neighbouring seats.

Im staying right in the heart of the city with some friends of friends, Leo and Megan, from Canada. Theyre super fabulous people.

This morning I woke early to the traffic and songs of local church-goers at 6am. I decided to take the early rise as an opportunity to wander around. I had the best espresso and croissant since leaving Montreal at a little Portugese cafe down the street. It was great to just sit and sip and watch the world go by. I must have TOURIST stamped on my head as I got an above-average hassling from some local artists and then had some drunk guy (yes, at 7am!) yelling out CHRISTMASSSS!!!! CHRISTMAAAASSSSS!!! at me as I walked by. Bizarre. I figured maybe this was his (misguided) way of reaching out and touching a tourists heart. Once again, bizarre.

Later on when Leo and Megan woke up we went and bought some produce for dinner from some of the local women. I felt a bit like a gimp having to ask Leo to bargain for the pineapple and coconut, but the fruits of his labour were sweet!! It just doesnt feel like Christmas when you have fresh coconut milk dribbling down your chin! Im doing my best to not suffer too greatly though – you just cant beat wandering around on Christmas eve in a tank top!! The heat is pretty intense though – wet and incredibly sticky. No complaints though, especially not when I hear Canada is -25!! Oy!!

Christmas dinner, ive been informed, will be spaghetti.

Im looking forward to Adam getting here. He called last night from Chimoio and hopes to make it to Maputo by tonight. I hope he makes it here too but the distance is far. He will be here by tomorrow morning at the latest, i assume. Perhaps Santa will drop him off on the way. I just got an sms saying hes near Masinga (i have no idea where that is).

I have a new cel number while im here since the S. African sim card doesnt seem to work. In case you want to call it is: +258 84 620 972. This will only be active until the 4th of January, then I can be reached at the standard S. African number.

If I dont hear from you I hope you have a phenomenal Christmas. I will eat a mango in your honour and think chilly thoughts!

Much love and +35 degree weather to everyone!!!