Blantyre

Blantyre Travel Blog

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Things were going really good in Blantyre. It's the biggest city in Malawi. It looked really different comparing to cities I am used to. There was a central, few bigger streets and some banks, restaurants and stores.. But actually it was really small.

The biggest difference comparing to Finland, were all the beggars I saw there. There was so many streetkids that has either run- away from their homes or orphanages or then some of them were send by their parents to beg money.. Only few of them were "real" streetkids without any place to be. I heard that there is places for them to go and stay or eat. I was told not to give money to them. So I didn't give money.

Instead of doing that I went to stores sometimes to buy some bread and then I gave bread for people if they were begging. There is not that many white people in Malawi, so you can just believe how "famous" I was among them. Sometimes I hated going to town because I knew that sooner or later someone will be following me.. There is nothing bad in them, I don't hate them or anything.. But some streetkids/ beggars were really rude. And they came only to me, to beg something just because I'm white.

But yeah.. If you don't want to hang out all the time in the city (like me), you can just take minibus and go another part of a town.. But it won't look the same anymore.. You don't see big buildings.. It's only in the small central where you can see those things. So, because I was living in one part of Blantyre, called Chilomoni, I needed to take minibus to get town or back.

It was only 50kwacha per one direction, which is about 25 cents. It's nothing. Minibuses were always full of people and interesting smells. Seats were usually broken and sometimes windows were also broken. So in the rain- season you need to check really carefully which minibus you'll take.. You don't want to be wet after being inside the car!! :D One time it started to rain while I was inside of the minibus. In that minibus almost all the windows were broken, so we were covering the "windows" with umberellas. It was fun and I wasn't wet. But anyways, those minibuses are old delivery vans that someone has sent to African countries. So they are not that nice anymore, they are old!! I think they release lot of exhaust in the air.. Atleast the stuff that comes from that pipe is black.. And yeah, minibuses are usually full, four people sitting in the same bench.
Usually there is 4-5 benches in one minibus. It's funny to even try to imagine how normal van that has ment to 7 people has turned to miniBUS for about 19-22 people! :D

But anyways.. So you take minibus and you go to outskirts of town. Chilomoni is one of Blantyres outskirts. I WAS the only white person in there. I think that in each outskirts it's the same.. Small market- area (or bigger), where people are selling tomatos or eggs or whatever in small decayed shacks. It was so different to what there in the central.. Just 10 minutes driving (or less!!) and you'll be surprised. It's not all about mudhuts, but you'll se how poor that country or continent is. Malawi is one of the poorest countriest in the world.

But the nature is beautiful. It amazes me everytime. So many colours, so many trees, flowers.. And so many insects and animals.. Can I ever fully understand it..?

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Blantyre
photo by: tinni