There was a fight. A young man screamed at another young man, people around them were laughing. The one tried to strangle the other, no one interfered. The first young man looked as if his life was ripped in pieces and as a tear started falling across his cheek the people around them started laughing even more. A car started rolling backwards, almost hitting the one behind. A man threw himself into the car through the window, his legs sticking up as a cartoon trying to dive into an ocean and getting stuck with his body halfway. The car came to a halt, and ten minutes later also the fight came to a stop. Without anyone being serious physically hurt.
This was my first impression of Malawi. I sat in the taxi that wasn’t a taxi and the driver said to me “I think your government sent you here.” I laughed, said “what!? Why would they do that? No, I assure you, I am not from the Swedish government.” He wasn’t convinced. “No no, I think your government sent you.” I said “no” again and after a while he might have believed me. And, serious, why would Sweden send a backpacker to Malawi? To spy? On what? What is going on?
At the Mufwa Camping in Karonga one of the staff followed me into town for dinner, and as we passed all the bike-taxis all over the place I started dreaming. What if I could buy a bike here, cycle to Lilongwe, and sell it again? I found a lot of bike-stables, but none which had bikes for sell and no one knew where I could buy one. So there I was again, left to hitch-hike in this country where there is no fuel. Some minibuses still had spare tanks, though all fuel came from the black market and the prices were raised. There is also a lack of sugar in Malawi since they exported all of it. As one bike-taxi wanted to charge me ten times the price my friend said “maybe he just wanted to buy sugar.” The sugar-price had more than doubled in a couple of weeks, as the fuel had doubled over night.