Green & yellow fuzz

I keep being late for work because every morning I discover something else that’s covered in mold and needs a vinegar bath (or soak or scrub). To wit: My only sexy high heel shoes 20-dollar bills Kuksa (by the way, that price is extortionate. Come to Finland and buy one instead, get a nice trip…

Daladala wisdom

Yesterday’s traffic wisdom painted on a daladala: “Shallow water, many crocodiles”. (“Maji madogo, mamba wengi.”)

Bakgårdar, bakgator!

I fredags åkte vi buss till Ilala för att kolla var de unga akrobaterna i vår capoeiragrupp tränar. Det var en skön eftermiddag, jag fick sittplats på bussen, det tog bara 20 minuter att åka dit. Killarna hade redan tränat sedan morgonen och deras pyramider och volter var inte riktigt lika innertakshöga som när de…

Urban safari

AfriRoots’ ‘Dar reality Bike Tour’ was great fun! … and also a lot of watching your front wheel to navigate the mix of jagged coral rock, mud and sewage that is the streets.Aside from the depicted sights, my favourite was the cinema! A dark shed with benches and fans, showing a selection of Hollywood, Bollywood,…

Magic words: ‘Can I see your identification please?’

Now I’ve had a proper round of that classic Tanzanian institution, traffic cop harrassment. The first time the harrasser was probably not a cop at all, Abdul’s guess is he was a security guard at the New Africa Hotel looking for extra income, and after he resorted to patting his shotgun and saying ‘This is…

Wriggling

Africa is chucking cliche-enforcing reptiles at me in earnest today. First the washing machine this morning. I opened the hatch… and spotted a tiny little gecko tail dancing and writhing hopelessly on the ground below it. Then I saw the dead body of the tail’s owner: a little gecko, smaller than my thumb, who’d been…

Coping with Ubungo bus station

This time acquiring my long-distance coach ticket to Handeni at Ubungo Bus Station was slightly less adrenalin-pumping than last time. Getting on the bus to Arusha, now that was an experience that made me want to write a long irate section for the travel books to help other travellers avoid the blood pressure risks. We’d…

On Football 2: In Search of the Underdog

Another football fact that makes it sit uneasily with my personality: you have to back the winner. We’re at a stage where everyone who doesn’t have the aspect of a tall, handsome, symmetrical, short-haired chunk of Teutonic perfection is out. We’re left looking at guys who’ve eaten plenty of animal protein and potatoes every day…

Batspotting

Turns out that the nocturnal chirping, squealing and murmuring in the trees near our gate is bats. What? i thought they'd be too busy airborne, swerving and ducking and echo-locating for bugs – how do they find the leisure to give up on military-efficiency clicking for food to frolic here in a tree, chattering like…