Culture Shock

Dar-e-Salaam Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 81 › view all entries
Culture shock

As the eastern sky began to lighten, our Swiss Air DC-10 out of Zurich descended from billowing gray clouds to reveal a first glimpse of Tanzania. Green terrain and red clay earth bordered blue-green waters of the Indian Ocean half way down the African continent. Walking fifty yards from the airliner to the arrival terminal had Scott and I sweating profusely in early morning heat and humidity. The tin, trash-littered building contained little more than a vacant ticket counter and a few wooden benches. Baggage was delivered on flat carts fitted with old car tires and tugged by barefooted black men in dirty blue uniforms. Our backpacks were on the third cart.


 A jarring red-clay road led us toward Dar-e-Salaam, dodging nasty ruts, mule-carts, bicycles, chickens, goats, and swarms of Africans scurrying along the narrow roadway. Women in colorful garb strode gracefully with large bundles or water containers balanced on their heads and babies draped to their backs. Men loitered idly while barefooted children ran, propelling rusted bicycle rims with short sticks. The sights, sounds, and smells sent us into culture shock and we wondered aloud, "What the hell are we doing here?!"


We found a cheap place to stay at the YMCA hostel in Dar. A skeleton key unlocked our simple room which contained two wood-framed beds, a small table, and a naked light bulb. A cold-water bathroom included towels which appeared to be made of gauze. When Scott and I inquired how far it was to the city center, we were informed that we were in it.


tinni says:
I love they way you write!! :D I had the same first impression when I first went to Africa. :D
Posted on: Dec 04, 2009
Jacqinmiddenamerika says:
Congrats on your featured blog!! :-)
Posted on: Jun 19, 2009
globalodyssey says:
sounds very familiar, just in different countries
nicely written
Posted on: Jun 19, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Culture shock
Culture shock
photo by: rotorhead85