Saturday, August 09, 2008

Arusha-Dar-Zanzibar - August 9

We got up at 4.45, after a few too many beers, it must be admitted. As in, we had 3, and that was two too many. We were in a bit of a panicky state, as we really weren't sure we'd make it to Zanzibar (the bus might be delayed and we'd miss the 4.15 ferry), we were fairly sure we were locked into the annexe, and weren't sure George, our taxi driver, would actually turn up. All in all, not a good way to start the day, particularly after having a half hour patch in the middle of the night where we were both boiling hot.

Anyway, there was a guy specially up, wrapped up superwarm to give us our packed breakfasts, as we weren't going to be having regular breakfast. Honestly, I love love loved L'Oasis for that alone. We got there, had to tip George a ton because we ran out of smaller denominations (note to self: stop using smaller denominations - get as much change as poss!). Then we got on the bus. That wasn't too bad - we were both fairly excited, watched the sun rise, and then slowly drifted off to sleep for several hours.

The problem was when we got to Dar. The book had said the bus would take us into town after the bus station. It didn't. We were bamboozled by a million people wanting us to take their taxis. Finally, we stepped away, took a deep breath, then chose the guy who'd used the magic words - "I like Barack Obama" - and bargained him down, a bit, for the journey to the ferry. Turns out his sister had studied law at Northwestern. That's so why I love the States - you hear stories like this everywhere here. It's amazing. We get to the ferry and it's utter chaos, the porter won't give me my bag back and then I had to fight with him because he wanted to charge me for TC's bag (which he didn't carry)... and we were both exhausted and just couldn't sit without talking. Which sounds bratty and grumpy, but that's how we both felt. There was some cool stuff with the guys around us teaching us some Swahili, but it was still an effort to be nice when I just wanted to sleep. Then, one of the two engines stopped worked and instead of 2 hours, it took three.

Still, we finally finally arrived, the driver from our hotel was there, and when we arrived (after going through many dark, twisty alleys) we found out our room had air conditioning. I've rarely been so happy. Even better - the place opposite had hummus, great passion fruit juice, and a couple who lived in Greenville, NC, after meeting I'm not sure where, but the wife was from Zanzibar, there from the summer to help with the restaurant and be on holiday. You see? Stories like that all the time... And after a shower and food we felt human again. And we were both asleep by 10.15.

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