I love the daladala. I have no idea why. I shouldn’t. The idea of sitting on a teeny cramped bus with 12 or 15 people with a guy hanging out the window looking for other riders doesn’t exactly sound appealing on paper. But I do. I love them. Especially finding the right one to ride. The daladala station is a mass of those tiny busses parked hilter skilter on the side of the road. Men stand outside the busses they work from and yell and point and herd people trying to get business. It’s so fun. They all remember us because we are the white teachers that have ridden the past two days with our guide. Today was our first day solo.
My two peers and I were immediately engulfed by the yelling men. I picked a daladala that looked full (the full ones leave sooner) and pushed my way too it. I regret not trying to find the one we rode the days before… these guys charged us for four people instead of three. Dumb.
Tomorrow I will look for the man with the Tigers baseball hat (funny huh?) that had driven us before.
Tanzanians have a wonderful sense of style. Hipsters ain’t got nothin on them. They are in full out hodge podge attire. Especially the men. Women wear congas or skirts which pretty much match everything. But the men, oh the men. The amount of women’s apparel I see men wearing in Arusha is simply hilarious.
Man with a “Curves” shirt
Pink Nike guy
And last but not least
One of the men who was hanging out the window of our daladala yesterday was wearing a bedazzled cat shirt that said “The cat’s meow” or something.
I love it.
I also heard a story from our headmistress about a little old man she sat next to in a daladala who was on his way to church. Tanzanians also seem to be a big fan of hats, this man had one in the shape of a chicken perched haphazardly on his head that read “I just got laid in Reno.”
I finally got used to walking the streets which is great because now I am totally enthralled by them. My dear friend Imaculate (no joke that’s her name) from the school at my request took me to what she called a “whole sale vendor” to by notebooks for the schoolage orphans. She is fantastic. At 25 years old she is not married—unusual for Tanzania—and is 100% the boss with the apple sauce. My headmistress calls her “daughter,” all the students come to her when there is a problem, and she has made us so comfortable at our new school, offered every help, answered every question. I am so incredibly thankful for her.
Anyway she took me to the paper store and bought notebooks. It was nice, no one tried to sell me anything, I felt almost like a local! Ha :)! She told me about the many markets in the area and decided (to my delight!!) that we should go to the second largest market in Arusha! WAAAHHHT!? I couldn’t even tell you how excited I was. Also I can’t describe it. It was unlike anything I have ever seen in the States. It felt almost like it was underground, like she had taken me to a sacred city under the streets of Arusha. It felt underground because unlike a lot of the markets I’ve seen it was actually in a building. A hidden kingdom with rulers that sat by their produce. Yeah, that’s good. The hidden kingdom which just happened to be FILLED with anchovies. I kid you not. Imaculate looked at me funny because I could not stop laughing. I was about to ask what those things were that were piled so high in the dim light of the market. Then I stopped myself because I saw a small eye staring back at me! All anchovies! I thought it was hilarious! Why on God’s green Earth would you ever need that many anchovies?!
“People in America do not like anchovies?” she asked in her quite voice laughing a little, trying to get the joke.
I hope she will take me there again.