We arrive in Bulawayo, scouring through over 10 different supermarkets to tick off everything on our shopping list. Bulawayo has a fresh fruit and vege market on the road, so we buy fresh chillis, apples, bananas, onions and tomatoes without even leaving our car – kinda like a maccas drive through, minus the “would you like fries with that”. The plus side to driving through the markets is that we can easily escape the pushy men trying to sell their products. However, they will still jog by the side of our car asking what we are looking for and holding up 5kg bags or oranges. When I do get out of the car, flocked by sellers throwing fruit and veges at me, I approach all the women sellers who don’t hassle us but welcome us with warm smiles.

Another reason I love Zim is that every town supermarket stocks indo-mei! Which means we can finally get rid of our Maggi noodles which are 4 months passed their expiry date. I buy some of every flavour, enough to create a new box in the back of our car, labelled the indo-mie box. It was a return to fond memories of the surplus of asian supermarkets found back home.

Other things we’ve managed to push past their expiry date without any bowel consequences include margarine, beer and canned soup. My mum – the hoarder of all things expired – would be proud.

At our youth hostel in Bulawayo (which means we have a bed and walls and can give squatting a break) – we meet two Japanese travellers – Hiro and Aki. Hiro has been travelling for 6 yrs now – through Asia, Europe and now down Africa.  When he tells people he has been travelling for so long, most are shocked. I, however remember thinking: ‘ I could travel for 6 yrs too’.  I love that Hiro’s biggest decision in his life right now is whether to travel through the remaining parts of Africa or go to South America. Hiro and Aki also just spent 5 months together in Congo, calling it their greatest experience in any country yet. They are travelling by foot and public transport. This is another thing I like about these guys, they remind us that anything is possible.

Because it’s the ten days leading up to my 29th birthday, I get treated with caramel dipped ice-cream and sweets from the localbakery. Nick is being overly-sweet by saying yes to all the treats I want and I am taking advantage of it. I could be in a national park, where my only treat would be bore water out of the tap (which I do really love anyway), but since I am in a town with ice-creamerys, bakerys and a biscuit man I go sugar-crazy.

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