HUMOUR : “This Crazy Dar-es-salaam”

Dar-es-salaam is supposed to be a huge city, extending many kilometres in all directions; it is a hustling, bustling seaport on the coast of Tanzania accessing one of the most important sea routes on the eastern part of the African Continent. This place has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches I have ever seen.  

Dar-es-salaam is supposed to be a huge city, extending many kilometres in all directions; it is a hustling, bustling seaport on the coast of Tanzania accessing one of the most important sea routes on the eastern part of the African Continent.

This place has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches I have ever seen. I can say without fear or favour that, Dar is a real paradise; despite the harsh conditions like the intensive heat, dusty environment as well as the flies by day and mosquitoes by night, these were not about to dampen my moods at all.

As I told you, I got myself holed up somewhere in Mbezi that is a few kilometres past the Mlimani City Mall located in the Mwenge location.

I  articularly chose the Gates of Paradise Hotel because it was a bit out of the noisy town life but not far from the fine waters that Dar is famous for.

On the other hand, my guide cum host also resides in the Mbezi area, hence my choice in staying in this locality.  On the other hand, the Hotels in the uptown Dar were going for a fortune as compared
to this particular one.

I checked out several Hotels in the City centre area and they were going for over US Dollars 120 plus, how could a villager simply throw away such useful cash?  How would I buy the “Kilis” (Kilimanjaro beers)?

This city is quite unique in its own authority; the roads are cruised by really huge vehicles.

In the rest of East Africa, we normally go in for the likes of Toyota Corolla or Starlets (1500CC engine capacity) cars, here, the roads are awash with the huge cars like Mark-Xs, the Chasers, and of course the several tribes of off-roaders.

Maybe what  nfluences these guys in the choice of such huge cars is the fact that, most of their roads are relatively flat, hence the low fuel consumption as compared to the Kigali terrain.

On the other hand, Dar is awash with the so called BAJAJs.  These BAJAJs are really a menace, they move very fast both on the road and road shoulders.

By the way, if you don’t know what I am talking about, these are semi-cars, semi-vespas (three wheeled
vehicles).

As they move, one is tempted to think that, they will tip over any time!

Far from it, these “Indian” vehicles are really superb; they can dodge the traffic jam by moving on the shoulders or even on foot paths. I was amazed to see so many Zungus riding inside these dangerously looking vehicles.

If you are the impatient type, stand warned that, the traffic jams in Dar are really bad, this place is not for you.

In Dar, the jams stretch for tens of kilometres from as early as 06:00am up to as late as past midnight! I was amazed by the fact that, some roads switch from two lanes on either side to one lane one side and three lanes on the other, depending on the direction of the jammed vehicles.

What was a three lane road in the morning become a one lane and the one lane changes to three lanes in the evening and vice verse.

To a stranger like me, the whole thing is rather confusing but to the citizens of  ongoland, this is quite normal!

Mfashumwana@fastmail.fm

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