Sunday, December 16, 2007

You are in Dar

(in honor of sandy, this entry will be in second person.  in honor of the nearly useless shift key on this computer, this entry will be in lower case.)

you look longingly at the overhead luggage bin on the airplane.  your third flight has just ended, in nairobi, and you aren't going to be allowed off the plane as you wait for the next leg.  as you stand for a moment in the aisle of the plane, on tip toe and off, stretching and hitting your head on the exit sign, it can't help but occur to you that the overhead luggage bin is far more comfortable than your seat.  there is a bit of strut in the middle, but you could think of that as a stomach pillow and just stretch out up there.  is that allowed?  can you stick a luggage tag to your face, and perhaps scrawl the word samsonite on your forehead in permanent marker?

it isn't that you aren't used to traveling.  it isn't even that the rather intimidating man sitting in front of you leaned his seat all the way back, even before take-off and all the way through landing because the flight attendant seemed afraid to talk to him when she leaned everyone else's seats back up.  actually, you aren't allowed to complain about him, because the intimidating man in front of mark was able to lean his broken chair back even farther....  ok, you don't know what it is.  but you really, really want to stretch out to sleep in that overhead luggage compartment.

you don't.

you take another flight and get to dar.  you get a visa.  apparently they hand them out by height, starting with the shortest person.  you are in the line a long time....  a cab takes you to the econolodge.  it doesn't look to be related to the econolodge chain, unless perhaps the chain specializes in moldy front entries?  you need tanzanian shillings for the room, so you walk to the petrol station for an atm, to discover that your atm card doesn't work.  unfortunate.  you walk back, and send mark to the petrol station....

the room is quite nice, accepting that it is in the third world.  you fall asleep on the pallet almost immediately and rest 8 and a half hours, waking up, finally, refreshed.  a beautiful morning out on the balcony.  urban and filthy, but still a bit beautiful.

touts offer all kinds of ways to get to the town of moshi, but most can't manage it today.  the bus ride will be 8 hours, and you think of the small chairs and overhead luggage compartments.  a plane ticket for a one hour flight is purchased.  a bit more expensive, and you won't get to see all the little villages on the road, if there are some, but the single hour of travel is more temptation than you can resist.  and, finally, you sit at the airport internet cafe.  the airport has no interior rooms other than the gate, and you can't go there this early, a little self-serve super market, and the internet cafe.  it has an air conditioner.  the air inside isn't cool, but it is conditioned.  whatever that means.

when you get to moshi, you will write again.

you love everyone.

2 Comments:

Anonymous ginsy said...

Awesome, brother. Nicely done. Next entry, I request you tackle it in first person plural...

Can't wait to see the photos!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Love the use of second person! Great read. Can't wait to hear and see more of the trip. XO

11:44 AM  

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