A while back, a few colleagues and I had a discussion. Each of us debated what the precise term for the word maintenance was in our local dialects. Oddly enough no one could come up with one word. Not in Lozi , nor Bemba or any other dialect for that matter. We had exact words for making/building and for repair, but not for maintenance. We could sort of explain the action but we had no word for it. Makes you wonder if perhaps that is the reason we are terrible at maintaining things. For many years I called The Royal Mpika Lodge my home away from home and for a while they managed to live up to that standard. Rooms were clean and well ventilated, beddings changed frequently, bathrooms spotless and the food was as good as a freshly cooked home meal prepared by mamma, filling and well worth its price. I raved about this place and if anyone was spending a night in Mpika I would always always insist that they try out the place. They also had an awesome hostess/manager called Carol, that would always welcome you like a long lost but very loved family member. She had a knack for remembering family members and workmates' names and would always ask about my son by name.There is a special place in heaven for people like this. Aside from the welcome, breakfast was their absolute niche. As a guest you would first be served a bowl of samp (dried corn kernels) prepared in peanut sauce or some porridge with groundnuts. This would then be followed up by the good old full English breakfast, all on the house covered by your room rate. Frankly, the Royal Mpika had never let me down and that is why when I realized I would have to spend a couple of days in Mpika I was unphased . Little did I know.... We arrived at about 18:47 with a colleague I had already informed that this was the go to place in Mpika. Reservations had been made the day before so I trusted we were expected. Carol was no longer a part of the establishment, but I believed we were still in good hands. We were tired and hungry. I asked what was available for supper only to be told the kitchen had closed. AT 18:47!!!! In our tired state we had to go looking for food. Geysers were not turned on and hence there was no hot water just yet. The bathroom sinks in my room needed just a little silicone adhesive to keep them firmly in place, a job that I could do with no plumbing certification, but I suppose in this instance the establishment was just satisfied to have water coming out of them and if it worked for what it needed to, who cared about a little wobble? Well I did. Another thing that had always drawn me to this place in the past, was I got my own decoder in the room and did not have to go through the excruciating selections of front desk management limited to Zee Wold, Africa Magic and Telemundo, channels I absolutely abhor. Well this time around at a time when I needed to stay informed, my room package did not include BBC, CNN or Sky. I should perhaps be thankful for the availability of Aljazeera. Day 2 of our stay I called at 1pm to make orders for supper least we once again got turned away. I asked what veggies were available, I was told chibwabwa( pumpkin leaves). This is the last vegetable I had eaten before I ended up in hospital for an emergency appendectomy many years back. I know it didnt cause the problem but it is hard to eat it without remembering the experience so I just dont. I asked what else they had, responses were not forthcoming so I started to make suggestions. My travel colleague loves rape (kale) so I asked them to prepare some but I woud rather experience another appendectomy than eat rape so I also insisted they do something else for me (with the exception of rape, chibwabwa and cabbage..........not impwa either). So just to be clear I wasn't asking for water out of stone. Northern and Muchinga Provinces are blessed with lots of types of vegetables during this season that aren't priced the Lusaka way so any meal can safely be accompanied by at least three veggies without cutting through profits. Anyway I was assured something would be done. We were asked to be in the dining room at 6.30. Any other day that would not be my dinner time, but a hungry man is a malleable man. Just like boarding school students we marched to the "dingo" on time. Breakfast had been a sad fiasco on that day, so I settled for my own box of Smart Oats and just asked for 2 lightly fried eggs. I got roasted eggs if that's even possible, over-fried and overly oiled. My oats had me covered so I forgave that. I convinced myself that breakfast was just a mishap missing the famous samp. Dinner however had to be right. The plates started to slowly treacle in. There was my charcoal grilled fish.......it was not worth the K55 I was being charged for it but with good veggies I could forgive almost anything. To my utter dismay along came a single plate of (drum roll please.....) RAPE!!!! Nothing else. I abandoned my plate and retired to my room but not before explaining to our waitress why they would never see me again or get further recommendations from me. The truth is I intend to live up to my word. Standards have dropped and the trend in Zambia is when something starts to go downhill it stays on that path more often than not. Now this hungry man is an angry (wo)man and a disappointed client.…
Una ubicación tranquila y fresca con una silenciosa noche de descanso. Aunque todavía es trabajo en progreso sin comer o la zona de oficina los apartamentos independientes están bien diseñadas y equipadas con ducha, televisión y quieres mesa de café. La cena y el desayuno se sirve en la habitación.
Convenientemente situado en la Great North Road, es un lugar perfecto para hacer una parada. Las habitaciones eran muy bonitas y cómodas, limpias y ordenadas, con aire acondicionado y ducha caliente. El desayuno era bueno, sirve a nuestras habitaciones en el dot. El restaurante estaba cerrado cuando llegamos, pero había lugares cercanos para conseguir un bocado. Agradable y cómoda estancia de una noche
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