Posted by: marthacoolcat | November 12, 2008

Zanzibar and Dar Nov 6 7

I arrived in Zanzibar, and it was much hotter, more humid.  I was too late for the spice tour I wanted to do, so I figured out where to find the dalla dalla stop and how to get to a cheap hostel.  They tried to overcharge me, but I didn’t pay up the whole amount.  They told me to get out in a place that clearly wasn’t downtown, kind of suburbs-ish.  The dalla dalla seemed to also be a school bus.  Everyone is Muslim here, which is part of why this part of Tanzania is talking about separating.

So I go into a supermarket to ask where Jambo Guest House is, and a clerk says he’ll show me, but a ?14 year old says he’ll drive me.  His mom is in the car, and it is her birthday.  We go to the place, and they tell me it is in the middle of nowhere, and I won’t see anything.  They ask if I don’t want to stay downtown.  Uh, yah, okay.  They offer me a ride.  Phew, that’s lucky.  First we go back to the school where the mom is the prinicipal.  It’s a little private school where the instruction is in English, and most/ all? of the students are Muslim.  Mohammed gives me a grand tour, and gets mad at the students if they don’t greet me cordially.  Weird, I’m dressed in scruffy shorts, and don’t look like a teacher from Canada. 

He has to drive kids home after school, so I play with his sisters, and review their tests (in English).  Then Mohammed and I and a bunch of kids pile into a different car, and a cute little boy is sitting on my lap, in the front seat, as we drive (uh have I mentioned the style of driving here), but I guess this is how things work.  He says he’ll take me to the Malindi Guesti, but drops me off at the Mzuri Guesti, which costs more, but has A/c, very close to where I need to buy my ferry ticket, and I can walk to the market.  Okay, thanks.  I pay with American, phew.

I walk around the narrow narrow streets (feels European) and take pictures of the market.  People are so happy when I great them in Swahili.  Thank goodness I learned the barest basics.  Then it starts to downpour!  I jump into Aziz’sfurniture store/ stall, and talk with the guys till it stops. 

I checkout the Anglican church where the slave auctions where held, and chill out in an upstairs cozy veranda to write a bit.  I figured out where the beach was, and go strolling on the beach dipping my toes in the Indian Ocean for the first time ever.  Lots of men want to talk to and walk with me.  Hard to get rid of them.  An oppourtunity to be assertive, and harness my inner witch.  I’m getting good at never making eye contact and being cold.  I’m kind of sad that we can’t all just be friends and see each other as equals and good people, but that’s not how things seem.

Rather out of money, I buy the cheapest thing I can find a sub sandwich bun called a salt bun, for 15 cents.  I eat my leftover food in my room which also has cable??? and buy an early morning ferry ticket.

The ferry ride is pretty gut-sloshing, but I meet up with some American and kiwis, and Chloe gives me ginger pills for anti-nausea.  Phew, thank good ness.  I liked watching Bee movie, but I felt really weird watching,_The Kingdom_ with Americans, and a boat full of Muslims.  I’m embarrassed by Hollywood’s depiction of Muslims.  I turn to the American beside me and say incredulously, it’s like a video-game.  He earnestly agrees, yah it’s really like that over there.  Uh-oh.  He also tells me he voted independent, and thinks Obama is too young.  Whoa, dude, we are on different pages.   I lose my friends as soon as we dock.

In Dar I walk to the fish market.  I always ask before taking pictures, and usually people say yes.  I think it helps a lot that I can ask in Swahili.  I see guys rubbing shells so that they will be – they will look a slice of a shell.  They are just shell you find all over the beach.  Later I see them for sale for 10 cents.  I see a starfish exactly like the one I through back into the ocean for sale too.

There’s a giant blue lobster that one guy has caught.  He wants $50 for it.  Incredible.  I guess that’s wholesale.  The auctioning is pretty cool.  My bag is getting hot.

It’s a little exciting getting to the airport.  I get differing instructions on how to get to the airport.  No one likes a girl with a big pack and and little pack on a crowded dalla dalla.  I get to the airport, and with my last 15 cents, a nice nice girl lets me buy a bottle of water that costs 45 cents.  Phew, I’m a lucky duck.  No one would do that in Canada.

Airport security is pretty lax.

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