Chapter 1 – At the Airport

Serena Shirazi:

Woah it has been an extremely tiring day for me. I feel like I could crash any minute now, but somehow I can’t even fall asleep. I’m so excited that I am going to be meeting Chris today! I’ve had a terribly long journey. First had to get to Mumbai by train. No matter how lovely and efficient the Indian Railways system is, I am definitely never getting used to the ahem ‘cleanliness’ part of it. Well at least I got to have a bath at a friend’s place in Mumbai otherwise I would have met Chris looking like a hag from another planet. Imagine that, you meet your best buddy after 8 years – yeah 8 – and you look like something the cat dragged in. Also, I don’t think they would have let me on that flight to Addis looking like that (but of course I’m just exaggerating). Yeah, don’t I wish there was a direct flight from India to Zambia. Wishful thinking though Serena!

I wonder what Chris looks like now. He had sent me some photos and has changed considerably, but I can still imagine him looking the way he did in school. Is it going to be weird when we meet? I mean we have kept in touch over these 8 years apart but managing a friendship for that long through distance is something special. I cannot feel more privileged and fortunate that we lasted as best friends this long. But to be honest, I feel slightly scared we’re meeting after SUCH a long time. It’s natural I suppose. What if he thinks I look a lot older? Well so what? It’s not like I’m trying to impress him right? I should stop pondering about silly things like appearance and stuff. We are going to have such a wonderful time meeting up in Zambia where I grew up, and where he is from partly. I have not visited Zambia in over 5 years. I cannot imagine the sort of changes that might have taken place there.

Right now I’m at the Addis Ababa airport and Ethiopia is technically where my mother comes from, but my parents are in Iran currently, so apart from a few odd relatives, I have no one here. Honestly, I could do without seeing my relatives. We’re not really close. However, I’ve kept some plans to meet them after I return from Zambia after spending a few days with Chris. Am I looking forward to that? Ummm we’ll get to that later.

I have my flight to Lusaka in about 2 hours from now. I’m crazy with happiness. I’ve decided on what we will do, where we will go, who else we will meet. In fact I want to go back to school and see all the old teachers. I don’t know how Chris feels about that plan, but seriously, wouldn’t it be so wonderful?

I got Chris this Indian lacquer elephant with little mirrors embedded. It’s quite a lovely piece. Saw it at the Mumbai airport (I am never going to get used to calling the airport by its real name, it’s such a mouthful), and then I decided this was the best thing to buy. I remember he had a liking for such things in school but what if he has changed and he doesn’t like what I got him? Na I’m sure he will. After all, it is the thought that counts right?

Okay, I’ll go spend some time going around the Duty Free shops. Will get back to my write-up later. I’ve decided I’m going to document every day with Chris. It would make for a great read when I get older. Ciao!


Chris Blok:

Hey there diary, what a lovely day it is to be travelling! It has been raining mostly and the prospects of heading out for two weeks and enjoying some Zambian sun instead of horrible Dutch weather is simply the icing on the cake. But despite the prospects of lots of sunshine, fantastic rum, lovely rumba music, beautiful nature, clear waters and let’s face it, hot scantily clad women; I am super excited to be seeing my best friend Serena after such a long separation. Damn it must have been 8 years ago that I saw her….

It is already 8 years ago that I decided to come and study here in the Netherlands. Funnily enough it was a day much like today in the sense that it was raining but it was a lot later at night, my arrival at Schiphol Airport that is. And I was a lot lighter then. Damn this good food I’ve been eating and that lack of exercise really got the better of me. Damn Serena for asking me to come with to Zambia at such short notice, I barely had time to work out and get into shape. The workforce of my parents will be having their merry way seeing me big like this.

Serena must be looking as lovely as ever though. At least I look bulky; that should keep the local boys at a distance! Not that I want to spoil any of her fun of course. Gosh I don’t know what that girl is still single. If she wasn’t my best friend… Gosh how awkward would it be if we did end up sleeping together this holiday? Ok Chris, time to get your mind out of the gutter buddy and drown that thought with lots of rum, good local rum!

Damn when packing and getting ready it always seems like time is running ahead of you. The packing is quick but I always seem to remember something that I still need to get or pack. Thank God I’m not a woman though. They must have it 20 times harder! Anyhow, everything was packed on time and I managed to jump onto an early bus with a good train connection to the airport. Zambia here I come!

At the Airport

So you know how I said earlier that time flies when you’re travelling. Well it damn well slows down to a slow pulse once you’ve past customs. Speaking of customs, it’s always funny how they somehow try to check your height discreetly after verifying your face is really the one in the picture. Well it’s me, the whole 1m87 of it! Right let’s check what kind of gift I can get Serena at the duty free stores. Funny how these stores come across as more expensive to me than the normal stores. But hey, it’s probably just me.

For a lack of getting anything better I just got Serena some chocolates. Can’t go wrong there right? As for my parents; some good tea for mum and lots of Dutch cheese for dad.


Move to Chapter 2


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