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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Wednesday 11 June 2008

In Tanzania

I feel that I could have plunged into the middle of a film clip. Everything feels surreal and unreal. Lemington my guide and I have made arrangements with a professional photographer and we will meet him tomorrow on the seaside. He will be taking shots of all the places I've been to so far.
I walk on the roads of Dar armed with a little trepidation. One has to battle with skinny Tanzanians balancing sackfuls of flour, rice, charcoal, bunches of bananas or even scores of coconuts. Those rickety little bicycles are super-hardy. At the same time, there are strolling groups of Masai with their spears, motorcycles, 4-wheel drives and creaky taxis all blaring their horns from different corners. No one stops at a zebra crossing. The restless traffic bears a notorious similarity to some of Rome's busiest roads. There is an incredible amount of dust from the long snake-like coast. There are always cold breezes from the sea. Yet no matter how dusty or crowded the town, there is always the visible sea watching you slyly from a certain angle. Inky blue shades mollycoddling the fast rising tide, sashay to the noisy rhythm of the fishing boats and ferries.
I sat at the Kigamboni cafe once more, retracing my footsteps over and over so that I would remember all the sights, sounds and smells for later. Lively Congolese music filled the air. Lemington complained that the restaurant owner was stupid since every customer would only understand Swahili. I engulfed myself in all these scenes, feeling besotted once again. Lemington had a fierce argument with the waiter over the prices of the fish dishes. The waiter commanded his quarrel with gusto but was thoroughly piqued. Never give a Tanzanian who's selling you something, a big note. Always have the exact change as the cost of the food appears to differ greatly from when you first parted with the money and when you subsequently collect your change. You will also have to remind them of your change or you may not see a single coin. I have become red and sunburnt. My feet ache every single day. In Dar, you can walk for miles and not realise it.