BootsnAll Travel Network

I’m a Congolese now!!!!

I’m in. Sitting in an internet cafe in Lumbumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

My worst border crossing yet. I should have figured after the hassles that I had at the embassy. The shared Taxi drops us off and instantly I am swarmed by scummy money changers whos primary responsibility is it rip you off. Oh yea, I have never seen so many trucks in my life. There was at least two miles worth of trucks waiting in line with others lining the roads and parking lots. Talk about a cluster fuck. That was a tip off of what was to come. After shaking off all but three guys who just weren’t going to give up until they had ripped me off somehow, I entered the Zambia Immigration. What a nightmare. It was like a mad rush to the counter. I finally figured out that the only way to get helped was to get the guys attention and then flick my passport at him from behind three other guys. Then just wait hoping that it didn’ land in the garbage can. After playing Rugby for an hour I got towards the front (all this with my packs on,) I caught sight of my passport. A few minutes later I got it back and with my three stalkers I headed to the Congolese side. Guys were calling me over but I blew them off. The f’ing officers qt the immigration wouldn’t stamp me in without paying a bribe of $5. Fuck that and fuck them as I stood there in the window for another hour as they did nothing but giggle between themselves. They said it was a visitors tax, and then admitted they wanted a bribe or I wasn’t getting my passport back. Finally, a big guy showed up (big as in physically huge but also because he looked pretty important.) I was bummed when he said that I had to pay, but after giving him my story of how I was taking a French course and all expenses were pre-paid and was why I had no extra money to give. Also when I kept telling them that the Chancellor at the Congolese Embassy told me that I did not have to pay anything. The big guy finally smiled, had the guys stamp my passport, welcomed me to the Congo and handed me my passport. I grabbed it and took off as a group of guys came after me trying to get me to come back for a baggage check for customs. Fuck that, I just kept my eyes forward and jammed out of there and into the crowd. It was probably the sketchiest moments that I hqve had on this trip. It got my heart going for a bit.

Beyond that, I am in Lubumbashi, I found a real shit hole place for $10 (they have no water.) The train leaves on Wednesday and will take about ten days to get to LLebo, two_thirds of the way to Kinshasa. I would still have to take a boat the rest of the way. I have to start re-thinking my plans. Beyond that, I am fine and am in the Congo.

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