Thursday, July 3, 2008

An anxiety dream

Now that the elections are over things seem a bit quieter here. There are still reprisals going on in the countryside, but the feeling of tension has begun to subside. The week of the elections I had a series of anxiety nightmares. That Thursday, I dreamt that I was on my way home from a ZANU-PF rally that I was forced to attend, but the streets were full of eerie, distended soldiers, ten feet tall and as thin as poles, blocks and blocks of them without faces marching in impeccable formation. I kept my ZANU-PF hat on and my recruitment literature prominently displayed, thus avoiding trouble until I got to the car I was driving. But after a few blocks of driving, a cataclysmic storm engulfed me, washing away the roads and trees, and cracking buildings right in half. I got out of the car to walk home, but the asphalt was floating away on whitewater rapids, tipping like sheets of ice as I jumped from floe to floe. Somehow I managed to get to the shopping center near Louise's house, but it had blown away, leaving just the iron framing.

So it was a pretty tense week, but now it's all over -- and not over. I don't feel anything like the same anxiety, but I know that reprisals are starting in the countryside, and there's still no political resolution in sight.

But I'm in a very good mood, generally, especially looking forward to this next week. Louise's cousin is getting married, and the wedding is at her house. Then we're all going on a family picnic to Lake Kariba on the Zambian border (did you hear? their president just died, repercussions for Zim yet to be seen), to stay on a house boat, camp in a game park, drink gins and tonics, and generally lead the high life. Also, on Saturday I'm going to the annual Fourth of July picnic at the American embassy (invitation only), where I hope to meet all sorts of eccentric expats, about whom I will send a full report. Dzimbabwe and David (two guys in the office) were very eager to come, because (and I quote) "The beer will be flowing, and there will be white chicks," so I've managed to get them on the list to get in. Should be much fun.

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