Day 4 in Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam Travel Blog› entry 5 of 15 › view all entries
So this is turning out to be much more of a city trip than I expected, which is good for a bunch of reasons, but I'm really itching to see some wildlife. Upon arrival, it was raining, as hurricane Bongo was in full effect off the coast of Mozambique. The city is not travel-able by foot, unless you've got some serious walking legs on you, and Dali Dali's are packed full. I feel very fortunate to be chauferred around everywhere by TravelMate, which is a really great company owned by the groom's brother.
The humidity has wrecked havoc on my skin, but luckily, pharmacies are well stocked and I was able to buy some cortisone (for $1!!) and Claritan ($1 per pill). I am staying at the Hotel Mediterraneo, which is beautiful, but far from the city and lacking in some comforts.
I think it was tonight that I finally began my acclimation. I had previously been so afraid of the elements, of the humidity and somewhat homesick despite the hospitality that I received from Louisa, who generously kept me company for the first handful of days, and Ale's mom and dad, who always had kind words to say even if they were in languages I couldn't really understand =) Thinking back on my time in Dar Es Salaam I have to say the only things that I really missed were all my gadgets and my double pillowtop queen size bed.
I relied heavily on my journal and my DVD player to keep a sense of time and familiarity as I don't wear watches, and rely heavily on my cell phone to keep time. Disappointingly, Verizon service is purely domestic U.S. and was completely useless to me in Africa, and wouldn't even give me the time. I therefore had no sense of time passing, nor was I ever able to set an alarm! In the evening, in order to wind down, I watched an episode of the Sopranos season 6. =) Because everyone needs a little bit of violence before bedtime =)
I wish I was more hardy. I had a bad rash from the humidity and now I have Montezuma's revenge. Along with the Malarone, I am taking something like 4 pills this morning. I am hoping today is easy and less stressful because I have cramps just walking around.
I can't wait for the wedding, the weather was frightful when we arrived, but it's slowly clearing up nicely and I think it's going to be perfect for the wedding.
I do wish there were less bugs here. I haven't really been btiten too much by mosquitos, but a good day is when a fly doesn't land on my food after 1 full minute, just to give you an example of the environment - fosters lots of insects.
I have taken lots of pictures in the city, which may or may not be interesting, but I hope to go to Mikumi on the 29th and bring back some pictures of wildlife. So far, in terms of animals, all I have shots of are a lovely yellow butterfly and a strange lizard with a yellow head and a green body who was very camera shy.
The people here are really wonderful, hospitable, and gracious. They are always willing to help and very kind. Even the people peddling goods that I was warned about were not really overbearing. They would approach you, and if you shook your head or said no, they would just leave you alone and smile at you. Really wonderful people.
I somewhat lost track of what happened when at this point - all I know is that Ale had a traditional Tanzanian bachelorette party where the women danced and presented her with Tangas and presents. But we also went out together for Mahimbo's "bachelor" party which was basically just clubbing at this fantastic club with great music. Beer was like 40 cents, the club was well ventillated, and the DJ had a variety of local and american music. I asked Mahimbo to ply the DJ to play American Hip Hop and I got to dance like a mad person to some Tupac and Sean Paul - woohoo! =)
I had started off the day rather ill and had almost skipped the bachelor party. But by the end of it, I was thrilled and still riding high late into the night.