When Malawi Was Nyasaland
Erschienen 2012 bei Australian ISBN Agency
Kurztext / Annotation
Gordon Burridge left Scotland in 1957 to work as an Agricultural Supervisor in the small African country of Nyasaland. He was followed eight months later by his young fiancée, Marian, who left a Scottish winter for an unusual wedding and the adventures of Marian and Gordon in Africa, happy and otherwise, were well documented in regular letters to family in Scotland. Reading them fifty years later, they realised they had a wonderful story to tell and 'African Honeymoon : When Malawi Was Nyasaland' was born. Part two of the adventures of the Burridges start after leaving Africa and will be in stark contrast to 'African Honeymoon'. They have just as much to write about - and more.
7th August 1957
BLANTYRE AT LAST
From Gordon (to family)
Sitting here in luxury at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre, Nyasaland writing this, it's five pm and I have just finished reading your letter dated 2nd August. It was good to hear from you and get all the home news. Life goes on in Glasgow it seems, while I am wandering the globe!
One helluva lot has happened since I last wrote, especially the last two days. I don't think you have had a letter from me since Durban. Well to cover the journey briefly from there, we had an exciting sail up the east coast of Africa, although I was by now well accustomed to the daily pattern of ocean travel. The sea was a lot rougher than it had been all the way, with big swells rocking the ship making it pitch and roll, both at the same time. At times the bow of the ship dipped, plunging under the sea, throwing spray everywhere, it was dramatic. Quite a few passengers were spewing, especially the new lot who had come aboard at Capetown and the other South African ports, all heading for England on the homeward leg of the trip.
We called in at the port of Lorenzo Marques in Mozambique and had a day and a night there. Not much of a place but four of us went to a night club in the evening and returned to the ship after midnight, in fact about three o'clock in the morning. One of the crew was still guarding the gangplank at that time, presumably they are used to people being out late and they have to know all passengers are safely back on board before they sail. It was a really good night but the nightclub was rather weird, not that I am an expert on nightclubs.
During the day we had a trip around the tourist sites, such as the cathedral, historical buildings and other places of interest. Many of the houses were so different to what we are used to, designed in strange, contemporary shapes and lots of colours. There was a visit to a Chinese temple and a local school, which was very interesting. The language in Mozambique is Portuguese and apart from the Africans, the Portuguese population is also darker skinned.
Our next port of call was Beira in Mozambique and that's when things began to happen. Beira is the port where everyone going to Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia has to disembark, as the rest of the journey is inland, by railway. The ship dropped anchor at Beira around noon and would you believe, I had not done any of my damn packing. The others had all packed their luggage the day before but I hadn't bothered, you know my motto, you don't cross bridges until you come to them. Then again, my Boy Scout motto is 'Be Prepared' so I must have been confused. When the morning came, it was a mighty rush. The cabin steward knocked on the door and asked for my cases to take them up on deck, to be stacked with the rest for offloading and I hadn't even started.
Stuff was never packed so quickly in its life. Washing done the night before was still wet, so I just rolled it up in a bundle and bunged it in the suitcase. Come to think of it, it's still there and probably mouldy. The steward stood there waiting for me to pack, which made the panic worse.
After a lot of hanging around waiting on deck, we eventually got off the ship, coming ashore by boat, as the ship anchors out in the harbour. We were told we had to go through customs, what a helluva to do. It was absolute pandemonium, with the dockside crowded with noisy, jostling natives and disembarking passengers scrambling around trying to find their baggage as it came off the boats. Surprisingly, there was no customs inspection after all, perhaps the customs officers gave up trying.
Then, to our further surprise, we were found by an agent chap, who emerged through the throng and said he was there to help the four of us who were going to work for t
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