Saturday, 29 September 2012

A trip to Pangan

Saturday September 29th

As I mentioned earlier, I had promised a photo print out to my rock smashing family, so a journey to Pangani was called for.  I didn't fancy cycling so decided to try my hand at hailing a ‘Dala dala’.  I had seen people do this and it consists of holding your arm out straight from the shoulder whilst your hand waves up and down like Larry Grayson having a fit.  I had steeled myself to accept that I would most likely be the 25th person on the minibus when it arrived so I felt a mixture of relief and disappointment when, after a wait of only one or two minutes, one of my friendly motorcyclists appeared out of a track on the opposite side of the road.  He papped his horn by way of offering his help and I willingly gave him the ‘thumbs up’.

 I should have mentioned that once again I woke up this morning to torrential rain and this makes the surface of the road quite tricky but I need not of worried as we covered the distance to town without ever going over 20 mph.  I’d like to think it was because of his illustrious passenger but I think it was more to do with his impeccable motorbike.  Don’t worry about the rain, by the way, it is now wall to wall sunshine again.

My chauffer took me right to the door of the Internet Café and I left him with a contribution towards his petrol (I hope this doesn’t invalidate his insurance).  A slight hiccup inside as the boy who was watching the shop had worse English than my Swahili and it was only when I worked out how to say ‘elfu moja mia tano” that we settled for Tsh1500 per print and not Tsh5000 which he was quoting.

The Internet Café

The Internet building (I refuse to keep using the word café) was quite close to the river so after getting my prints I had a walk down to the River Pangani and the car ferry.  I am told there is a good road from Dar as Salaam up the coast via Bagamoya now so the ferry gets some good use.


Further along the river is the Post Office and outside it these locked containers which give a new realism to the address where I am staying, which is P.O Box 84, Pangani; no postman for the dogs to worry here.


Refreshed with a Fanta at the Safari Lodge bar, I proceeded to find my way to the market where the minibuses congregate.  As a seasoned traveller I knew to ignore the frantic use of the horn by the driver of the bus at the front of the rank and continued my conversation with one of the locals until the wheels actually started moving before jumping on.

Back at the YM, I took Martha’s advice and have carefully cut the pictures out and sellotaped them to card from my cereal boxes to produce a more lasting gift and I look forward to Monday to present some of my photos to their subjects.

Finally the day ended, apart from dinner and a pint, with Denis turning up with a lady who said she wanted to learn English.  She is receptionist and secretary for a firm in Pangani and wants to be able to use English in her work.  On top of all other things I am now a teacher of ESL.  In fact her English was a lot better than she admitted too, but she was too shy to try it, and had little opportunity to speak to other English users outside work.  We tried a little role play of English speakers coming to her office and she seemed pleased with the results.  Denis helped translate when all else failed but it was an interesting hour.


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