Where in the world Today?

Home Sweet Home

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good for the Soul

From Safari, we took to the sky, boarding a lovely 20-seater to take us to the island of Zanzibar, where we found plenty of sunshine and put on many miles exploring the narrow streets of Stonetown. We followed Troy around, who claimed a superior sense of direction, and while we were never 'lost', he made sure we saw every nook and cranny, wanting us to get the full experience ofcourse...

We learned about spices, sampled exotic fruits, swam in the ocean, toured some historical sites....and SHOPPED! We visited the tourist shops but also gave mom the full experience of the sights, sounds, (and smells) of the local market. This is where we snagged the real bargains ofcourse! The best strategy was to just let Troy do the talking.

Mom and I also ventured out on our own, giving Troy a break as the lead negotiator. We photographed the infamous doors of Stonetown and also tried our hands at doing some bargaining on our own. After being followed down the street by persistent salespeople, and being welcomed a little too eagerly into shops, we decided it was in our best interest to once again retain Troy's services.

We also took a sunset dhow (sailboat) cruise. I hesitate here to use the word 'cruise' but that is what we signed up for. With many tour operators around town, we ofcourse shopped around. While mom was content to sign up with the first outfit with a shiny brochure, as saavy travelers Troy and I were sure we could get a better deal. What we got was....interesting (?).

The three of us climbed aboard and the sail went up. It was cozy, just the three of us and two 'sailors'. Never mind that the sail had a few small holes in it and the fact that the 'sailors' replied either 'yes' or their names to anything we asked of them, we were going to sail!

Now, as you can see, these two were the picture of calm, enjoying the breeze off the ocean, and the rise and fall of the tide.

This here, on the other hand, this look on my face, is the picture of fear. Shear and total fear! As the winds blew, the tiny boat would rock and tip and I swear the tip of the sail was going to hit the water each time we were met with a gust. I asked the 'sailor' if the boat ever tipped over. He grinned, said 'yes' and told me his name... Helpful.

Mom and Troy were entertained though. As they laughed hysterically at me gripping the high side of the boat, I watched another dhow, a bigger one, one that probably cost the extra measly ten bucks, sail smoothly and peacefully into the sunset.

At night, we checked out the Forodhani Gardens where tables and tables of skewers of seafood, and meats were set up. Breads, fruits, sweet treats, and fresh sugar cane juice all waited at the ready. Think Taste of Edmonton - African style. If you looked at something too long, you were bound to have it thrown on the bbq for you before there was time to protest! Mom and Troy sampled octopus and shark while I stuck to the chicken and beef side of things with yummy Zanzibar pizza for dessert (you can never go wrong with bananas, nutella, and a little deep frying!).

The days passed by in a frenzy of activity and Troy and I commented that it was us who would need to rest once mom left. We wrapped things up with henna tattoos, wanting to send mom home in style!

We ended things off with an excrutiating ferry trip back to Dar Es Salaam. Apparently mom has her sea legs while both Troy and I were doing our best not to join the ranks of the sea-sick. (Unfortunately, as I sat there with my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears, all I could think of was the pie-eating contest scene in the movie Stand by Me).

We parted ways in Dar. Mom caught a plane home and Troy and I boarded a bus bound for Moshi to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mom, thanks for sharing these experiences wih us! Thanks for all the treats you brought for us. Thanks for letting me raid your suitcase before you left. Thanks for carrying an extra bag home on account of us. And thanks for reminding me that dessert and new clothes once in a while are both good for the soul (and even better when purchased by your mom).

1 comment: