Mozambique was a lovely place to visit, very laidback and not too hard to get around. Blog posts scared us about the difficulty of traveling around this country but our experience was pretty smooth. It was helped significantly by our middle-aged, round-bellied taxi driver, who we endearingly called Papa Mario. We found him while wandering the streets of the capital, Maputo, where he was lounging in his taxi parked on the side of the road while a younger guy washed his car. Unclear if he was working or not since his car was covered in soapy water, he quickly assured us that he was ready for business and after the car was speedily doused in rinse water, we took off. He ferried us around the capital city as our reliable driver and referred to us as “those two girls” at first but we quickly became “my dear daughters”.
The entire time in Mozambique, we couldn’t figure out the social schedule of Mozambicans. We were in the country’s capital city on a weekend and it was dead. Like, empty streets, closed shops, closed museums, closed everything, and not a single live music event, bar, or club opportunity for Saturday night. Papa Mario was devastated that he couldn’t help us find a lively cultural experience for our Saturday night (he’d driven around and called everyone he knew to find out if anything was happening) and reassured us that during the summer, the city was LIT, as in, they literally partied from dawn until dusk. We were ok with a lazy weekend but had to promise Papa Mario that someday we would be back—to see the live music and to join his family for dinner at his place. That same weekend, on Sunday, we went to a nearby beach town to find that apparently Sunday night is the massive beach party day. The streets of this tiny town were full of super boisterous locals and alcohol was flowing; no one seemed phased that Monday was a work day. We decided we weren’t meant it figure it out and that was okay.
Mozambique was colonized by Portugal, and with at least 40 languages spoken nationwide, we found out that the default language locals used to communicate was actually Portuguese. We learned “Obrigado” for “Thank you” and unfortunately didn’t pick up much else; neither our French nor my Spanish was useful in the least. We did learn a little bit of a local language from our waiter on our last night there, and much to his amusement, we said “thank you” and “please” in his local language for the duration of our dinner.
Here are some pictures: