A Gator in Dar Es Salaam

"Ex Africa semper aliquid novi - Out of Africa always something new" -Pliny the Elder

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Woke up at 5:30 on Friday to catch the ferry to Zanzibar. I saved $30 each way because I am a Tanzanian resident(officially until September). I really like saying that. So this is the one benefit I get from it. The ferry took less than 2 hours and the seas were pretty calm. On the way over they showed Dumb & Dumber. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t think the humor would be cross cultural and cross the language barrier. Literally almost everyone on the ferry was watching it and the lady down the row from me, who is maybe a 40 year old Tanzanian woman was cracking up hysterically through the whole movie.

Anyways by 9:30 we were in Stone Town and after passing through customs we went to our hotel to put our stuff down. The Pyramid Hotel is great, really cheap, nice people, mosquito nets, communal baths but they are very clean, and included breakfast every morning served by the nicest old man around. We had lunch at Archipelago Restaurant and I had pueza(octopus). It’s a strange sensation when the little puckers come off in your mouth but its great food. Went back to the hotel for a nap and then some reading on the roof. All of us(myself, Mercer, Rob, Florian(Austrian), Tony and his parents, and Camille and her parents) headed over to Mercury’s for dinner. It is named after Freddie Mercury of Queen who was born a few blocks away here in Zanzibar. Great food and watched the sun set on the Indian Ocean. Hard to beat. I headed back early, through the narrow streets of Stone Town, between buildings constructed well over 100 years ago. A little reading and then hit the hay.

As I write this I’m across the street from the Harbor, looking out at the Indian Ocean and enjoying the nice sea breeze. Today have been Christmas shopping for Mercer and just had some Middle Eastern food. I think tonight we will eat fresh fish outside at Forodhani Gardens and then go to a club/bar called Sweet Eazy which is featuring Christmas songs and Santa Claus himself(smart man, tired of the cold at the North Pole). Enjoying the nice breezes here and will be heading to East Coast of Zanzibar tomorrow to spend Christmas on the nice white sand beaches. Have a very Merry Christmas, and again Kwanzaa doesn’t exist, haha.
Matt