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We were writing post cards, when a young woman came to us and began to chat. Soon another young woman accompanied her and they asked all sorts of questions from us. We took some photos of them and the owner of the café and her sister and asked for their address, so we could send the photos to them. One of the women, Busisiwe, called Riitta her best friend and promised to write to both of us that very same day, so a letter from her would be waiting when we returned home. More people came in and women came to us while men stayed in the background. Busisiwe and Gcinile told us that it is very seldom that tourists actually stop in their town. They usually see them only on the buses driving through Nhlangano. What we had expected to be a short coffee break turned out to three-hour stay, but finally we had to leave. Riitta and I decided to walk to the post office and Vesa drove the car to the supermarket, where we would do some shopping before continuing our trip. Gcinile wanted to walk with us and showed us a short cut to the post office. Once we were there it was obvious that we didn’t know where the supermarket was. There were several supermarkets in Nhlangano. Gcinile was sure that Vesa would be waiting for us at Super Spar but he was not there. We walked to other supermarkets – in vain. On the way we met Gcinile’s friends, who had already heard about us and greeted us with big smiles and asked if we were Gcinile’s new friends. There are only about 50.000 people in Nhlangano but still its streets were very crowded. There are twice as much people in Lahti, but I have never seen as many people here, not even during the ski games. It was getting dusky and we began to worry. I have to admit that we were wondering if Gcinile shook us off on purpose to be able to rob us later. Finally she said that she would go and see if she could find Vesa and Riitta and I waited for them. About ten minutes later we saw our car – what a relief.
Written Jun 25, 2005
When we finally found a place to have coffee we had to bring our instant coffee there. Soon locals began to come to the coffee shop as the word had spread that there were tourists in Nhlangano! It was funny!!!
Written Jun 25, 2005