Friday, 16 November 2012

A record broken

Thursday November 16th

This weekend I go to Dar es Salaam  to have another blood test, so to ensure I arrive in the city in good time to complete this in one day, I am staying the night in Tanga to facilitate an early start.  I mentioned the offer I had received from a couple who lived and worked in Tanga, who had joined me for dinner a couple of weeks ago, well I decided to pursue it.

This morning I taught my lessons as normal until 12:30 and then shot home on my bike to shower, change, and be ready for a lift with Denis down to Pangani at 1pm.   No afternoon Basi I am afraid so another trip in a Daladala.  I managed to get onto the back seat with my overnight case in the ‘boot’ and settled for the usual journey.  I was soon joined by a couple of lads who were Tanzanian but had lived in Capetown for ten years and had dual papers.  It certainly past the time hearing about their adventures out there and their reasons for leaving Tanzania.  Gradually the Daladala filled and one of them stood and offered his seat to an old lady who had boarded. Still the minibus kept stopping and extra bodies were crammed on until we broke my record and there were twenty six of us on a vehicle designed for fifteen.  They then opened the back door to suggest that the standing passengers   moved even further back.  They rely on the general good nature of the Tanzanian people to overcrowd these vehicles but they reckoned without my two South African friends.  The one who was standing started on a tirade down the bus which I realised was directed at the driver and conductor and when finished, he turned to me and said that he had pointed out that they would both be there when he got off and if they crammed anymore on he would beat the pair of them on our arrival in Tanga.  You obviously learn a new way of life in the South African townships.

Upon arrival at Tanga I did my usual round of the bank and shops, before hailing a Bajaj and asking to be taken to the Yacht  Club as Bob had said their house was just down a road next it.  “Yacht club, elfu mbili” says I (that’s Tsh 2000).  “Yes’, says he, “The Yatch Club.”  Not initially understanding what he had said I repeated, “The Yacht Club!”  “Yes,” says he more slowly this time, “The Yatch club”.  I finally understood that we were talking about the same place and boarded for my journey.  It was only later in the evening when I told the tale to Bob that he informed me that all the Indians and Tanzanians call it Yatch, which rhymes with hatch, and in fact an advert, for a large hotel on the same road, had appeared in the local paper with ‘Near the Yatch Club’ as directions.  Mind you Yacht is a fairly stupid spelling anyway.

Bob and Jill live in a walled compound of four houses and it was strange to be able to wear shorts in the evening as we sat in the A.C. cooled house with not a mosquito in sight.  A delicious meal with chicken, mashed potato, carrots and cauliflower (!!) followed by mango and yoghurt , accompanied once again with good conversation and I set my phone to wake me up for an early start in the morning.


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