JOHANNESBURG 9:13 p.m.
The beer is local: Castle Lager. It'll help take the sting off another brutal day. That began just past midnight when I was rudely awoken by an earthquake.
Truth be told, I could hardly believe it was an earthquake. First, there hadn't been one in Mozambique in over a hundred years. Second, after I woke Heather up to prepare her for desperate flight from our hotel room, there were no aftershocks. Except for the rumble in my belly from yet another mediocre meal that we were forced to take a few hours earlier at the Hotel Polana (I'm reporting to you from the Hyatt in Johannesburg -- score one point for the corporate chains). So I decided that I must have been dreaming, and that the earthquake was just a subconscious metaphor for my Delhi Belly.
Until I found out that distant Mozambique was suddenly big international news when I stumbled out of bed this morning. So I was probably still disoriented when, for the second time since we arrived in the country, I was shaken down by an underpaid, greedy cop who kept an eagle-eye out for our foreign plates as we struggled to find parking in front of the U.S. Embassy in Maputo. A threat to take me down to the station, not even one attempt to look at my license, and one hundred thousand Metacais later (about $4), I was home free. Luckily, not as expensive as my other brush with tourism corruption in Wyoming during our IA expedition last year.