Tanzania 14 — Driving through with a tourist’s eye

Before the memories fade too much, and with already a great deal of nostalgia despite the great reception my Johannesburg and Sao Paulo Couchsurfing–hosts and now the „Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza“ have offered me, here my last pictures and impressions from East Africa (Tanzania, mostly). It was interesting to see my perception change from somebody who lived and worked there and took everything as basically what it was back to more a tourist-visitor’s view. The process of saying good-bye, letting go, and becoming somebody new yet once more.

First are the main means of transportation, the famous matatu minibuses on the left and the inside of a long-distance travel bus on the right. This latter one took me from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam in some 16 hours.

The roadsides are always an interesting view — very typical are the colorful shopfronts and plastic chairs, and the slightly overstated names like the „Club Inferno“ here. Typical also that beyond that single line of houses there’s not much happening along the street.

More of the same, noteworthy for the „Duka la Dawa“ (pharmacy), one of the main businesses you can find. And for the carts, very common means of transportation, and when they’re full the guys pulling them certainly sweat like hell.

Other common businesses: street vendors. On the left grilled corn, usually dreadfully dry to chew, but has a nice smokey flavor. And it does fill you up for a few cents. On the right, fresh fruit, sadly not as common as I’d hope.

Another common business so useful to travelers: Hawkers specialized on selling to the busses on their brief stops. Saddling up in the first picture, offering there merchandise in the second. Sometimes you can get amazing local specialties, a certain banana you don’t find elsewhere, really nice peanuts, even tomatoes and onions are frequently bought by the travelers. Sometimes, like here, you get only the standard cheap and industrial foodstuffs and soft drinks. Oh, fresh potato chips are one of my favorites!

Now some more industry, the streets offer a good impression of what is happening in Tanzania in that respect, and where the country and it’s residents stand. Cement, bricks, water tanks …

… used furniture and new, quite elaborate wooden bed frames. Building a house, furnishing it and getting drinking water. As I wrote before, economic activity that immediately makes sense. Even though already some of these modest improvements cause problems with the traditional way of doing things. In the customary way families expand, for example, houses are frequently abandoned for bigger ones. Now if the old ones were already built with cement, they don’t just disappear as the traditional ones used to do …

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Datum: Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2011 22:20
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