Bad headscarf deal

Why is the dress code of Turkish Muslim women so bulky and provincial?

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Fish merchants reading

There was something very reassuring about visiting the Kivukoni fish market last week: everyone was going about their fish business; nobody paid more than glancing attention to the tourists with cameras. Here are some photos of fish sellers catching up on the news while they waited for …deliveries? Clients?

Giant lobster alert (oldschool tech haunts me from 2009)

I dropped my camera last June and never saw it (or my kitchen party photos) again, which has considerably hampered my participation in the compulsive documentation of everyday life. In July I rediscovered the joys of my Minolta and the delayed, yet modest, gratification from seeing your manual film camera prints. So now I’d taken…

Lunch restaurant review: Muhimbili Hospital canteen

This canteen is at the base of the Muhimbili hospital roundabout and caters to hospital visitors. We ate there today with 4 others from work since our local, Muhas staff centeen, was being renovated for new management. Meals here are cheap since “some people come to eat here here day in day out for months…

Arusha adventure: Merus, an ex-president and new slang

I had a crazyass day yesterday, going to Arusha AND BACK. We calculated that it was cheaper for us two colleagues to fly to Arusha than to go by bus (taking one day each way) and pay for two hotel nights, three per diems and the random ‘Saturday travel fee’. My office pays crap wages…

Upanga road attractions

Things that, if you stop to consider, would look weird elsewhere: The rat poison man’s rat poison-on-wheels microenterprise, a cycling shelving system of rat poison complete with a loudspeaker playing the rat poison rap-chant. Vespa passenger: Ishmaili Asian wife riding side-saddle behind her whitebeard husband while wearing that weird hood garment in orange, a bright…

News comedy

More comedy on the front page: – The brand sparkling new bus station at Mbezi Mwisho has been completed, but not taken into use for 9 months while workers build the toilets. Again: didn’t they see this coming when they started building the station?? – Prime Minister’s Office bosses tell local government workers in Coast…

Views on the road

Today’s exciting visions on the way to work: – A kids’ bike seat made from two stacked kids’ plastic chairs lashed to the back of dad’s bicycle – Daladala motto of the morning: ‘Utamu wa kazi ni pesa’ – ‘the sweetness of work is money’. There’s often crazy shit on the road. How about these:…

Extended family etiquette

My colleague has family problems. They keep coming to visit. “Now that my wife is at home with the twins looking after her mother, I can’t manage the rest of the children. My sister-in-law is very good with the kids but all the time there are things with the schools, this and that… So my…

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…

Ogling and ogled

Mateo’s parents and brother were here for two weeks, and they were dragged to various sights as is customary with visitors. The best one was the Maasai market at Melela. We got a guide through Chilunga Cultural Tourism in Morogoro, which was lucky because the Samuel had relatives whom we met immediately on getting out…

National auditing sensations

It’s time again for the staggering annual revelation of what exactly is happening with Tanzania’s public funds: the Controller-Auditor General (CAG), Mr. Ludovick Utouh has published his reports into the financial year July 2009- June 2010. The four reports were submitted to the President, tabled in the National Assembly and published online on the the…

Enjoy old news!

There’s so much happening in the world these weeks that everyone seems to be rehashing the news in blogs. Didn’t seem like I needed to join in the clamour. But then you can’t really blog without referring to current events, so I haven’t blogged about anything. Or can you? I think I’ll show off my…

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…