Travel Talk

New Years Eve in Africa


I was due for a decent New Years after spending last years in some tired train station in Indonesia. Anyways I was being lame, really lame and didn’t feel like moving. Finally did, caught a dala dala aka local minivan packed to the gills for like $0.10.  Lot’s of accidents around here. A massive one only 500M after being in it, 10 minutes later, another one and it almost hit us, sketchy stuff.

Grabbed some booze and they gave me a free horn, sweet. Met a moto taxi guy who looked like Michael Jackson with aviator glasses on and a pair of pants that ended at his calves. Obviously he made sure he pulled his socks up and we made eye contact… We both knew I was the customer and he was the taxi driver. He gave me a good deal…

Sad part is, he had no clue where we were going. I said let me out here and was going to walk. Suffice to say he drove me the rest of the way to a friends place, really far and beyond the call of duty so I gave him another $3. We then had a beer and I walked to my friends, these kids were on his drive way and ran off when they saw me, except one…

Hooked the kid up with the horn, he was pumped, we heard the horn until we left. Anyways, check this, meet this guy who used to live in Ottawa as a diplomat or his dad was for Tanzania… He lived around the corner from me, saw him countless times, small world?

We leave there and head to this house party. Oh ya, met this German girl in the line at groceries for the booze, got her number and flipped her a text about the party, didn’t’ work out, oh well. The party was great. This couple has a nice crib on the ouskirts of town and well it was a party like a party that could have been going down anywhere else in the world. Great times until about 3 am.

Lately, I’ve been getting more into “local culture” by just going on solo missions and taking public transport and wandering around. The people are quite friendly or want nothing to do with you I’ve found. When out of the city near my friends some kids run up and touched me and said hello then ran.

Poor tough, really poor like in Asia they have street vendors blah. Here they have say two 18 year old girls selling 5 tomatoes and a few onions. I went to one of the stalls and picked up some peppers etc… One came running after me to give me another one, good people. Gave this little kid a big coke while I was walking home, he was thrilled.

Woke up early today and decided I had to go to town… Thought I’d be at my friends for a day or so, turns out it’s been like 4 days and I need a tooth brush, badly haha not to mention some food. Tried to get in this dala dala and they were packed and just drove by, 1 second later this huge safari land cruiser stops in front and this African guy says where ya going, say Arusha, he says get in. If it wasn’t a safari company truck would have been more apprehensive.

Don’t have my camera and considering most places I go I’m the only foreign dude, won’t bother. This place is a whole new “out there” compared to say Asia which was already a big jump from living in Canada.

Anyways, a few things are in mind, will let you know if they develop. Not having internet kinda sucks but makes me realize how much time we waste on it. It’s like a tool that is a toy that seldom gets used as a tool when people claim to be working while really just playing with a toy.

It’s funny how back home we have an idea of what is far. The gent next to me has just come 1 hour to use the internet for 15 minutes to look up schools in Canada. He is trying to find work here and wants to study forestry, wish him luck. Just bought him another 15 minutes.

Just went out to get a drink of something, you know you get parched and gotta do what you gotta do. Just ran into this lady from Canada. By running into I mean I said hello and we started chatting, she has an appointment but I’m meeting her for coffee after. She has been here a while, hopefully she can fill me in on somethings around here.

2011 seems promising and looking forward to another year of adventures and the unknown. Do I miss my old job / life? Sure, miss my friends and family but wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. If you want to do something like this, do it.

I’ve said enough.

Tips hat,

P.S: The photo above is Mt. Meru… I have an awesome view of it from the place I’m staying. Kili is hard to find, always covered in clouds.

Leave a Reply