Saturday, 20 October 2012

The peninsula

Saturday October 20th

Today I returned to the other side of Tanzania that I hadn’t seen since last year.  Part of Dar es Salaam is a peninsula that juts out into the Indian Ocean and this is where you find the money.  Nothing prepares you for the incredible inconsistency between the mud huts in the villages around Pangani  and the sometimes ostentatious wealth of the peninsula.

Cliff had picked me up at 8:00 to go to the peninsula to find the clinic where I could have my blood test and on the way we had a sweep round the end to see some of the buildings.  The pictures below do not do the places justice at all.  The first one is an embassy near the end belonging to one of the Arab nations. As we were uncertain what the response would be if we stopped and took photos of the front, this shot is of the side but believe me the building costs must have run into millions, and I mean dollars not shillingi.

The second shot is of a hotel, also near the end, which just happened to have two helicopters parked on the landing strip outside. How the other half lives does not begin to describe it.

We eventually after a lot of phoning for directions and red herrings, found the clinic, which again was all glass and stainless steel and I must admit very reassuring as I left some blood to be tested.  They will email and text the results on Monday, which I suppose will at least give me something to read on the journey back to Pangani.

After a trip to an ATM and a proper supermarket in a mall, Cliff dropped me off at the hotel with a promise of more culinary delights to come in the evening and I had a happy afternoon with a good Internet connection.  About 5:00 local time I wandered down to the bar next door to get a bottle of water and found it packed with Tanzanians, many of them proudly sporting their Red shirts with the familiar badge of Manchester United emblazoned on the front.  The live match between Manchester and Stoke City had just kicked off and since I am now a resident of Manchester, I had to stay and watch the game.  The matches are on pay to view satellite TV, broadcast from South Africa and the locals are certainly knowledgeable about the Barclay's Premier League and the players in it.  The majority were supporting the reds but there were a few cheers from a minority of the people there when Wayne Rooney headed into his own net, particularly from a young man sat next to me sporting the white of Tottenham Hotspur.

Just before 7:00 I left the hotel and walked towards the main road to pick up a Bajaj, not without a little trepidation as obviously it was dark, there are no street lamps and the moon is in its first quarter.  Coupled with this, the street makes the road to Tanga look like the M1, but there were plenty of people around and I soon found a Bajaj and set off to pick Cliff up.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to an Ethiopian Restaurant but if you haven’t and have an offer to go, take it with both hands.  This incidentally is the way you eat as well; using both hands.  The meal is brought on a tray that contains a thin pancake type base and when the food is tipped onto this base, you tear of bits to scoop up the meal.  Spare rolls of the same stuff are brought on a separate plate that can be used in the same way.  The food is delicious and the whole experience fascinating.  I know that when she reads this Chez will be drooling, because we went to the same restaurant last year and the food was excellent on both occasions.

We got a Bajaj back and having dropped Cliff off, the driver admitted that he didn't really know where Royal Mushie’s Inn was but we found it somehow.  The last day of my jollie’s tomorrow and then back to work.


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