Zambia Travel Diary – Day 6 – The Wedding

(2015.09.10 23.16 Night before the wedding. I’m slightly nervous, or maybe more worried, just hoping everything will be okay, that nothing will ruin their day and that I won’t make a fool out of myself. I’m sort of tense, waiting, anticipating, so I don’t even know what to write about that. But I just put the alarm, and glanced at the clock in different time zones. It’s different when travelling, when the earth itself has shown differences beneath my feet. It’s morning in Tokyo. 6.23. In my head I can see the sun rise, sweeping the map from one side to the other. I’m not at home, I’m in the world now, a dot on the map, so I suppose I should sleep before it gets me.

(I bought a new book today at a shopping centre, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou which I’ve wanted to read forever. It also changes the way I write, maybe to much, when I’ve just read something in a specific style. And maybe specifically when I write in english since it’s not my mother tongue. I really should sleep.))

2015.09.11 (technically 2015.09.12) 00.18 I wanted to think something as I sat on the stage at a (sort of) traditional african wedding reception in Zambia. It would be a lie to say I came up with something eloquent. Quick words to capture the motions and lights. Colour and clothes comprised. But I knew I wanted to shape something out of the word ‘different’, this weird adjective that has captured this journey in general and is meaningless and everything. Different just means different. Everything is. It’s a comparison.

I was a bridesmaid. They picked me up at 7.30 to go do our hair. I wrote a note on my phone while there:

10.58. The wedding is in one hour. We’re in some random saloon where they seem really surprised by styling a white girls hair. But they’re good. It’s not the same ‘every corner needs to be clean’ feel as in Sweden, which is quite nice actually. I wonder if we’ll make it in time though. Not as much for my own sake as for the others.

This was back when I was still tense, when nothing had happened yet and everything was to come. A to do list of nerve-wracking (that I blame my bad writing on) that made it difficult to wait.

Everything ran smoothly. We were late to the church, obviously, and for everything else, but everyone always is and that way the time-culture here that doesn’t work still kind of does.
Then came the party. We were the intro, walking in dancing and then quick out to change for the main dance. After which we were going to improvise. Together with one of the guys you had to stand in the spotlights on the dance floor and shake your body. I just did my best and hoped it lived up to the small expectations of a white girl. It was quite fun, not gonna lie. And then the guy leading the whole thing spoke some more.

As a bridesmaid I sat on s small stage at a table next to the wedded couple. When they introduced all of us though, the guy leading it had to say that I obviously couldn’t return from Zambia without a man. He proposed. I said no. He told me he would ask me something in another language and I should say yes. I said no. Hopefully in a way that made it fun.

It was really good though. I would consider the other bridesmaids my friends now, and so many people were very kind and perfectly polite. A lot of them aimed their eyes at my face and not my words. But some looked at my face and stayed at that and maybe we all just hate being looked at. As if people don’t even try to look for a soul.

But at the end of the day, the bride and groom were beautiful. I love living outside my comfort zone (even it it makes me irritated at the people in it when I come back) and I think that I learnt. And I should write more but I’m in bed and the power’s out so I need to turn off the flashlight, because my eyes are (repeatedly) falling shut while trying to come up with something good to end this with.

(On my wedding I want flowers wrapped around my tiara and a lot of sun and blankets and friends playing me songs and reading me poems)

Zambia travel diary – Day 4

(2015.09.05 I’ve got the world’s greatest grandma. She says she doesn’t care what colour her hair is so when I added some pink to mine she said I could add some to hers too. I put it at the back of her neck, because she suggested a pink fringe but I think it would’ve made mum a bit mad.

(Okay, so apparently that’s all I wrote that day))


My grandmother. This picture doesn’t look like her. Not like her personality, the way good photos sometimes do, but it looks like someone so I like it anyways.

2015.09.06 I’ve lost count of the days. Or the energy to count them. Maybe that says more. I’m in that moment of wanting to express everything, because what even is my life, at the same time as I’m living a lot, thank you very much, so I’m not sure as to when I should find time for that expression.

Today I went to a kitchen party. It was different. Try to imagine the most stereotypical traditional african party, but then mixed with I don’t even know. It’s one of the ceremonies leading up to the wedding and the woman getting married is brought in covered with a chitenge (piece of fabric in bright patterns that they make clothes of or just use as it is around the waist) and then there was something about the groom being led in to uncover her and give her gifts, but they did it in a bit of a strange order. No one knew exactly what was happening except for the older woman who led everything and walked ahead of us while dancing (shaking her booty). Everyone simply did what she said while everyone cheered and they played loud music on the drums and sang. We laughed a lot.


Where I sleep and/or hide from insects


Lizard next to the shower, they’re everywhere but since they don’t crawl into beds or suitcases they’re my homies anyway.


Ego pic before the kitchen party

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Warm nights (but wrapped in a chitenge anyways). Night!

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Problem of The Artist (The Ability – Ambition Gap)

There are two sides to any sort of creating:
  1. What you want to express, say, do.
  2. Your ability to do it.
The first one, many people have, the second one, not so many. Because the first one is instinctual. Natural. Inspired by the outside world, but also everything you are, letting it out. The second one means fighting for the first one. Because it all comes down to communication, making other people see what you see, whether it’s through a text or a video or a picture or something completely different. And this is where it’s easy to give up, because a lot of time the gap between the first and the second point will seem impossible to get over. For a great part of my life, I’ve never even thought about the fact that maybe one day I will be able to paint down what I see in my head and be happy with it. But I believe that day will come. I hope it will, because I have to. That’s how you continue. Because everything you create and become unhappy with is a part of what you will create and be happy with, later. It’s the warm up. You’re building up to it. Do it publicly or secretly, just know that one day you will see your soul in a creation. And if the first thing, your want to express something, is strong enough to get you through the ups and downs of the second step, then I suppose you’re an artist.

Last dance

I don’t like endings.

There something special about being backstage. Too many lights and wires you’re not allowed to touch, your own little corner where you put your things, and the way you see the entire show being built up and practiced. And then the doors open, and for a few hours people get to see what you have been working on for weeks, months. And then the doors close and everything gets shut down and is no more. It’s not a painting or poem to keep. The performance only exists when you perform it, and then it’s forever gone.

I can usually look forward to do it all over again the next year, but now I graduate and have to quit just when I feel like I actually know everyone.




So yeah, and I cried. Which was awkward, because my face gets completely red and I can’t hide it at all, and everyone get really surprised and slightly scared because I don’t usually cry and no one expects it from me. I wasn’t really that sad though. It’s just way too good, so when the curtains fall for the last time, I panic because it’s over it’s over it’s over.



Final dance

So now this year’s dance shows are over, they turned out to be unexpectedly many. This theater teacher saw us dance to a song they were gonna have in their production, so she invited us to dance there to, and in addition they needed more pirates in the play so we got to dress up and act a tiny bit! I think acting might be one of the most difficult creative things to do. I realize the few times that I try that I don’t know what a human really does or act or look like in different situations. Acting is about observing people, just like drawing or writing, but then to show the truth about the people you observe using your own body is impressing. But fun. And in the end we even got roses for our trouble!


Dance shows

My dance school always has this big dance show in the spring time, and I love it. I love the time spent on stage and I dread the moment I have to leave it, but I almost love the waiting time more. The minutes before going on stage and the time between the shows that you spend backstage. Somehow I have this dream in my head of myself then, imagining I’m a dancer in New York who got accepted to an exclusive school of ballet, and that I spend the dark evenings carrying my dance bag on the buses between my auditions.



I’ve gotten a job as a dance teacher! It makes me jump out of happiness and stress out about the lessons I have to plan. But I’m happy, most of all I’m happy, so many people are on the lookout for jobs and I got one without even putting effort into looking, bonus that I get paid for something I’d probably do for free. Terrifies me though because I’ve got no idea what you can expect from different age groups? Guess I’ll figure it out.

Do you guys ever wish you were clearly defined by one of your hobbies? I wish I was a star dancer or famous artist or known writer, instead of just liking a little of each. Wish I’d started something when I was really young and then never quitted it. Have to remind myself of that every time I want to quit on of the hobbies I have now.