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Arrested For Public Drinking

Still hanging out at our country club here in Harare. Yesterday (November 5th) was an incredibly uneventful day full of embassy hopping. Uneventful that is until Rich got thirsty. It was way hot, and an hour before, Rich’s Zaire visa application had been rejected because he didn’t have a shirt on in his visa photos, so he wasn’t pleased about that either. He bought a beer to drink on the walk from the Zairian embassy to the Tanzanian embassy. We’ve been in Zim long enough to see the British influence so Rich made the assumption that you could drink in public, as you can in London. He was about half finished with his beer when a Zimbabwean cop came over and asked him why he was drinking a beer in public. Rich said it was extremely hot and the cop responded by stating it’s illegal to drink alcohol in public.

Rich responded he didn’t know it was illegal so the cop arrested him breaking the law. “Ignorance is no excuse for disobeying the law”, said the cop. We started walking with the cop and he started asking questions like where were we from, where were we staying, etc. We got a lot of questions about the types of hard currency we were travelling with; he wanted us to give him some hard currency so he’d let Rich go. He walked with us for a long time towards our hotel, which eventually put us at a grocery store. The cop seemed to be losing interest since we didn’t have any hard currency, or so we’d said, so he allowed us to go into the store to get some food (escorted by the cop). We took a long time in this grocery store, then once we’d paid we slyly left the market, not looking around for the cop who was supposedly waiting outside. No cop – he’d apparently gotten bored with us so we made our way swiftly down the street and back to the peacefulness of the Sable Lodge. Other than that a really uneventful day.

* * * * * Still here on the porch looking across the yard at the swimming pool. Guy Fawkes Night was last evening, so we saw some fireworks from our neighbor’s yard. Rich and I have turned off our brains. (As you can tell by the crap writing.) I used to be able to get ten errands done in a day, now I can only seem to get one thing done a day. It tires you out when you turn your brain off and are all of a sudden forced to use it again!

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