KONYAGI DIARIES FROM DAR ES SALAAM TANZANIA 2015
First things first, I missed my flight, I was supposed to leave on the 4th of November at about 7pm but due to insane traffic and sheer incompetence on my driver’s part I died in my own movie. I made it all the way to the departure lounge but I was too late. Interestingly enough I wasn't even that mad, I simply went home slept it off and was up bright and early the next day to go sort out my new ticket. The kicker however was that I had to pay an additional 150$ instead of just 50$ as I was told earlier, I must have looked ready to collapse in a heap of tears because the gentleman at the office told me to pay only 100$.Once that was done I was off to the airport where this time I made it with a good hour to spare.
At around 11am we boarded and it was off to Kigali for my connecting flight. After about an hour in that unbelievably depressing lounge (I've gone through it a couple of times and its always the same depressing atmosphere) we boarded the flight to Dar es salaam.The view from up top is something else! The ocean was an especially beautiful shade of blue, the white coastline and palm trees all immediately melted away any semblance of stress i may have had.
Customs was relatively easy to get through; I did stop to help this one Rwandese girl who hardly spoke a lick of English fill in her immigration form. Initially I was worried they'd question her about the different handwritings but really nobody cared. At 4:45pm I was finally in Dar es Salaam Tanzania for my much anticipated and needed holiday.
Bertha, my long time friend from our first year of high school had asked me to go on down and check out the scene, offering to host me throughout my stay. After shouting yes, she asked what I was interested in doing while I was in town and told her my desire to have an authentic Tanzanian experience, see some museums, the zoo, historical places and also stuff my face with as much sea food as possible.
I hadn't seen her in 10 years and wondered how it was going to go, I was so incredibly happy to see her and it was hugs all round. She came with a friend of hers, Sofie and her adorable baby girl.
It turns out I arrived the day the new Tanzanian president, John Magufuli, was sworn in so the streets had been cleaned and swept like never before and of course there was traffic to contend with. I was fascinated by the white sand that lines the streets, the palm trees just add to the whole coastal ambiance and I loved it.
We got to her place and I remember getting out of the car and being hit by this epic heat wave, I was truly not in Kampala anymore. First order of business was to partake the much missed local spirit KONYAGI.Konyagi is much like Uganda Waragi only a tad bit weaker which means a lot more to drink, yeah!
Bertha then told me to get ready so we could go grab a bite to eat, I decided to wear my white jeans that fit so snug I was sure by day 3, with all the food I intended to have, would fit no more! We drove to Coco beach for a delicacy known as Mihogo,which is essentially some beef skewers, a chili sauce and the largest most delicious fried piece of Cassava, I love cassava and will eat it boiled or however. I must say the 'chef ' outdid himself on this one. We were later joined by B's brother, Dawn who luckily for me speaks relatively good English and is an interesting individual as well so there was never a dull moment.
We then drove to a bar by the ocean and much as it was dark out, the sound of the waves was very soothing.We ordered for more Konyagi and a large shisha pot for me. We talked about all sorts of things, I asked about all the Tanzanian musicians from years ago that had disappeared and with all the stories, we concluded that there truly is an unspoken serious drug habit going on throughout East Africa.We drank (Bertha doesn't drink at all) and danced and had an all round good night, this was shaping up to be a wonderful holiday!
The next day (6th), she took me to Diamond plaza right in town and lo and behold they have Subway!!!!!
I went insane with joy and wondered was taking them so long to come to Uganda. I had a steak and extra cheese sub and it was incredible, I opted for a 6 inch sub but I I could have hammered a foot long!
The second floor of the building houses the Forever living office, one of the ventures Bertha does besides her teaching job. There was a meeting/mini conference going on about the business, much of it was in Kiswahili but the speaker Enos, who is the leading sales rep for East and Central Africa who claims to be making about 100 million Uganda shillings monthly, was such a good and captivating speaker that I listened attentively anyway.B was translating for me as well so that was cool. When Enos was done,Bertha gave her presentation, she was really good and had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand!
When the meeting ended, it was time to go party.Beartha's friend from work Lenny joined us and we got along well, the conversation was good and we seemed to have a lot in common.
We drove to Kinondoni for what is known as Chips Mayai .This is an eggs and chips pancake looking dish. (In Rwanda this is called 'special omelet '.) Mine was topped with grilled chicken that had been marinated in all these spices for 24 hours and is a fabulous shade of red when ready. It was such a filling meal and I could hear my waistline protesting but I was holiday and did not want to know.
We were joined by another guy, Amani who was hilarious, he doesn't speak that much English but from the little I picked up and the translations, he had us in stitches! he ordered for some shawarma (I've never had one and had absolutely no more room to sample it).It came nice and wrapped like a burrito packaged in some white paper,Amani didn't know whether to eat it as is or if it had to be unwrapped and made the mistake of voicing his concerns as he didn't want to embarrass himself in front of the 'visitor’. Good God did we laugh!
After we were good and fed we drove to a bar named Catalunya, we settled in the club section were Konyagi, Serengeti beer and coca colas overflowed!Hehe.Bertha's s boyfriend John joined us a bit later.
The Dj was pretty good and every time he played a Ugandan jam I danced even harder than before. The highlight for me was seeing Amani's version of the moonwalk!!! That guy though! we all had a great time and eventually with some(I won’t name names) drunker than others we went home. In our case Bertha and I stayed at John's place with the intention of going to Bagamoyo for my historical tour the next day.