Saturday, 15 September 2012

Back to adventure with a bang.

Saturday September 15th

As I said yesterday I needed to retrace my steps to Tanga today to change dollars into Tanzanian Shillings so 7:30 this morning Denis gave me a lift on his motorbike the 4km to Pangani ‘bus station’.  A minibus was waiting so I quickly jumped on board to ensure a seat and ten minutes later the driver arrived, started the engine and started furiously ‘papping’ the horn.  This went on for five minutes and was obviously the warning for departure and he wasn’t going to stop it until the bus was full.

As before there were cushions behind the driver so that further passengers could sit on the floor facing the back (no box this time),

I soon longed for that wooden box as he then opened the door again for three standing passengers, we are up to twenty in a thirteen seater; we’ll cope.  Oh no, five minutes out and another two joined us. I won’t bore you with the rest, suffice to say that we entered the limits of Tanga 80 minutes later with 25 plus the driver on board. I know London commuters complain about the rush hour tube but this was crammed.

I’m seriously considering blowing a week’s allowance on a taxi back but no, control yourself Lonsdale, the title says adventure.

I arrived in Tanga bus station, which is as mad as Ubungu, just smaller with minibuses and using my limited language – “Barclays iki wapi” - found the bank and by similar means a supermarket and the internet cafĂ©.  I think one of the Carleton High miscreants has beaten me too it though as the keys seem to have been rearranged so thankfully I know the keyboard well.

A bit more walking, weighed down with shopping now and I opted for the mini-adventure and found a Bajaj.  (If you don’t know these are the Tanzanian equivalent of the TukTuk.)  Having beaten the driver down from TzS2000 (80p) to 1500 (60p) to take me back to the bus station, I then used his services to find a shop selling Thermos Flasks, a shop where I bought a chicken tapas, and then find the bus for me (a proper coach this time) and as he waited for me every time decided this was TzS5000 well spent and he went off well pleased.  The journey home (!) was much better. 

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