Retour à Dar

Dar es Salaam Travel Blog

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Here I am in transit again, in Tanzania soon.
Back pain from carrying the luggage, the plane trip, the stress (the most terribly stressful period of I have ever known, in the past few months), and perhaps the blues upon leaving again (comme souvent coupant court aux différents champs du possible). A massage would be most welcome, but the airport only provides with manicure facilities for a short treat in-between planes. Funny how conversations engage easily in transit places, even from the very departure in Roissy with two or three French travellers who may have ignored me on Paris streets on the very same week.
My blues is fading away as the plane is taking off. I also feel relieved, everything disappearing in a clear red-orange sky, as the plane is rolling for landing. The horizon, over there, far-east, is making a blurry cut between the dark blue night and the red rising sun not to be seen yet. Is a moody mood soluble in beauty?

Donc après un an ou presque, me voici à nouveau dans l'une des villes les plus agréables d'Afrique de l'est.
So here I am back to Dar after 11 months. Air is warm but windy, sky is clear, roads are busy. My "room" is spacious, and I am not taking a picture out of consideration for the friends living in their few-square meter big appartment in Paris (or for the few people in this country who live outside, without having the facility of the wireless internet access I get here). View out the sea, the palmtrees line in the garden coming out of the sunset light, and such a beautiful and pleasant setting that you need to go and take a look by yourself every morning when the air is somehow cooler, in order to make sure and convince yourself that you don't live in a postcard.
The sound of wind tube bells is jingling lightly outside, and so is the water fountain. From inside, falling asleep, I could almost believe I am in the heart of nature, in the middle of wildness, in the core of Africa!

But no, this is not what I will tell about here. I'd love to, and I might eventually go "out there into the wild", but some technical requirements assign me in the heart of a real, big, populated, dynamic city.

Some ask, I smile. Okay, this time I will write a bit of news while away. Impressions of the social ways, daily encounters, and life in a few of the African cities and capitals. Why only words, words, words...? Well, last year I came with my camera and brought back mainly pictures; now I set my eyes free without a filtering lense. A blog is said not to be very good without any visual document to support and illustrate it. I let you picture and imagine the whole thing from the words!

My clothes once folded into the big drawers and other wooden furniture of the "room", I can take a few glances at Dar, from the car leading me to work.

The harbour is here, busy, one of the biggest.
Huge trade volume shipped to Asia, India, China and the Middle East; this part of the world doesn't need Europe and the West, Bandung and South-South relations finally visible and active in a concrete and possibly long-term way, 50 years after. Tanzindia is the name of a newly created insurance company, a mastodonte in the sector.
Street advertising is wild, street activity is wild, street begging and living is not wild, it is the point-mort, black spot, downside of this fantastic system that looks like it works, like it is working, like it will be working for some time. Who knows? What does one choose to finance with big money? Education? Health? Culture and science? Anything allowing a people and a society to assert the means of their pride, instead of providing them with bare means for survival; at least I don't believe one should come before the other. Finding ways to feed some expressive needs, not only need some expressing food.

For now, shapes and shades are back to my eyes, before the music of swahili and the taste and smell of the food. Vivid shades of colours in clothes, buildings, cars and trucks; shining shapes of an elbow under a shirt, of a cheek above a smile, of a spindled calf below a long skirt. All this so diverse that they make one dizzy before any other sense comes supporting the sight of life. And touch is so closely related to that sense! This is how powerful it is felt, through such an intense sense of seeing and absorbing what you can see, than your body can almost touch it just by seeing it, picturing the texture, the grain. The intensity almost makes you scared, for only one sense makes you feel all of the other ones. Everything is smooth, everything is rough, and I am back to this land of contradictions, that bears so well those of human beings.

(to Alex)
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