9 August 2006

Tanzania today

Walking around Dar es Salaam is constantly interrupted by people who want to talk with me. That is one of the best things while traveling as it gives me a chance to learn about the reality in the city. For the past few days I have been talking with an artist called Simba (means lion in Swahili) from whom I bought few paintings few days ago. Today we were having a long chat about lot of things including traveling; he was just going to Algeria and coming from Mozambique and the unavoidable topic of global politics. In my case most of the conversations start with people, without exaggerating every second on the street, noticing my tattoo which is in Swahili and then commenting it. I am getting super-props for it and I am taking them with open arms. I actually never realised that it is so visible but it appears that only the people so far have not necessarily understood it.

I also finally bought myself a battery, just an old fashioned one for my walkman radio and I have been listening to the radio for the whole of today. Some really cool stations like for example Radio One, which is playing a lot of Bongo Flavor, a Tanzanian Hip Hip in Swahili. Radio Free Africa did not impress me with anything else except a really cool name. The first and last song I heard from them was Shakira. Can someone please tell me where do I need to go in the world so I do not have to hear her music? I would like to give this station another go, but I feel that the risks are really high.

It is funny to notice also that South African music, mainly the more traditional end of Kwaito, is getting some support here. One day South African media answers to the love that it is receiving from the other countries from the continent. I may not be alive then but I hope it will happen.

I have been a supporter of Tanzanian band X-Plastaz for a while and I was really looking forward buying their record while here but it appears that it is impossible to find from Dar. I was told that I could possibly find it from Arusha, some 700 km away. I still must try to get some local music from this trip. It will be completely matter of luck whether I will find something that I like but then again, as my dad always says, it will be easier and definitely cheaper this week than the next when I will be in a different country.

On Saturday I will be going to a village of Mjimwema. It is on the beach side and I will spend my last days of this trip there. I was told first to go to the north side of Dar to another beachfront place but Simba, the artist I mentioned earlier, told me that it is a place for Mzungu. That means a white man, in this case I believe he was referring to whom I call Safari tourists, but regardless of what he meant I am still going to the cheaper place with apparently amazing views. I will go and check out the place tomorrow. It is no longer than an hour away by foot, ferry and Dala Dala (minibus taxi).

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