It’s my last Friday in Tanzania. Storytime. I’m about to describe my worst ride in a three-wheeler or bajaj. Like in a good suspense movie it’s more about what didn’t happen. There was an air of danger throughout the entire length of my trip to the Julius Nyerere airport in Dar es Salaam. Anything could have happened.
You may ask why didn’t I take a proper driver or at least a taxi. Thing is, I needed to reach the airport on a Friday evening which is the worst day for traffic jams. My assumption was that a bajaj would be able to move where cars can’t. Continue reading A Mad Dash to the Airport
There is a significant degree of oddity in my life abroad. It’s being transmitted on all channels to me: visually, verbally, sensory. I’m doing the Tanzanian “club handshake” at least three times a day and have become pretty proficient at it. There is also the “stroke shake” I mostly get from women: a not-to-firm handshake followed by a soft and sliding release. Eating by hand doesn’t remind me of childhood anymore. Sneezing is not commented. By either party. Took quite some time to get used to. Continue reading Hear, See and Feel the Odd Side of Tanzania
I’ve written about my disappointment with meats in another food post, that’s why I just had to check out the Nyama Choma Festival that took place in Dar es Salaam yesterday. It’s first and foremost a place to go to with friends to eat and drink and listen to music. The fact that some places sell wine by the bottle and beer by the four-packs is a testament to this. Well, I made some friends…
But let’s talk about the serious gourmets who are into marinating their products “until the meat just wants to slide off the bone” as one guy told me. Continue reading Mouthwatering Meat Meet
In Dar es Salaam there are buses, minibuses, taxis, motorbikes and three-wheelers (bajaj) – all available to transport the public. But for moving large number of people there are basically just the large buses. Always painted in the colors of where they come from and where they go with the terminal stations stenciled onto the colors: “Posta”, “K/Koo”, “M/Mbusho” or “M/Rangi” (find a map with some Dar bus stands). And they have curly writing on the side: “City Bus” it says.
For a fare of TZS 400 (USD 0.20) you get to see a lot of the city. Yet the passengers complain about the high prices. Continue reading Dar es Salaam Buses – Mirror of Life
With time my perception changes. I can almost feel it. It’s due to the fact I am confused. What is poor and what is rich? At their extremes these terms are clear. But what’s going on in the middle? Whenever I see a dirt poor person with threadbare clothing and no shoes walking the streets the sign “poverty” flashes up in my head. But occasional local companions label such persons as “crazy”. So it starts to look like only the mentally ill are at the very bottom of the pyramid.
Housing is a similar case of confusion. What clearly looked like slums to me at the beginning is looking less and less so. I see unpaved roads, narrow pathways and no running water but then I see power lines running through such places and I see that most houses are built from bricks. Can this qualify as slum? Continue reading What is a Slum in Tanzania?
Tanzanians have a great hand with barbeques, as do the Kenyans and the South Africans and the Swazi and probably a great many more people in Africa and in the rest of the world. Ah, not to forget the Argentinians!
In spite of the abundance of grilled meats and the great skillsmanship Kitimoto is something else. Kitimoto literally stands for hot seat. Continue reading The Story of Kitimoto
Bus trip Dar es Salaam to Dodoma takes 8.5 hours and more if there are traffic jams. The road is heavily used by trucks transporting goods to neighboring countries such as Zambia, Malawi, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. It is a trip best enjoyed in one of Shabiby’s Luxury VIP buses and during daytime as there are so many things to be seen.
Continue reading Dar es Salaam – Dodoma and back
Last week’s business trip to Tanzania’s capital Dodoma has given me a very distinctive taste of Tanzania. I would never have guessed that anything else but Dar es Salaam is the country’s capital. Dar es Salaam has the industry, the workforce, the sea port, the embassies, the international airport, the companies and the traffic while Dodoma Continue reading Dodoma, the Powerless Capital of Tanzania
Let’s do a little thought experiment to visualize the challenges faced by many developing countries. Imagine a country with a population growth of 5% and economic growth of 3% per year. The standard of living in year 0 would be 100%. Where would that country be after twenty years?
Continue reading The Epic Race of Population vs. Economy
Saturday July 18 marked the end of Ramadan. But on Thursday evening July 16 nobody in my office or in the rest of the country knew if they would go to work on Friday or if it would be a public holiday. All depended on the sighting of the new moon at nightfall.
The opinions differ as to which location is relevant, which tool may be used to detect the crescent moon, whether Continue reading A Lesson in Communicating Effectively