I am just back from Dar es Salaam, a quick work trip to Tanzania. Lovely cool breezes, nothing like the sticky Accra climate, and such nice people. Miles of beaches, many new buildings; its gotten very modern since I was last there.
Actually, it was less palm trees and Indian Ocean breezes, and more airport-hotel-meeting room-long days-airport, then hours of swatting mosquitos while waiting for the check-in to open for the 03:46 flight Dar-Addis-Accra (arrrgh) with plenty of time to full out departure/arrival forms. Where do all of these departure/arrival forms go? In some massive archive somewhere? Or do they get shredded eventually?
Later, a large group of people clutching plastic bags and puffy jackets showed up in Departures: families with small children, 85 people being shepherded by IOM staff in blue vests with clipboards: the families were refugee/migrants, migrating to the US and Canada, with what little possessions they had in large checkered plastic bundles. A few extra hours for me waiting on plastic airport chairs is really nothing too complain about, when you think about how these people are some of the lucky ones.
We stopped off at a market the last day, on our way to the airport – these are tinga tinga paintings. Still there! It’s a very local painting style from Dar, quite touristy but cute. I have some from twenty years ago, and they are still popular. No shopping for me though, enough stuff in my life already. What I DID buy in Dar es Salaam: coffee, Branston pickle , ground cinnamon, and Serengeti beer I optimistically thought I’d have time to enjoy. Not the case. The Branston pickle is for my husband, he brought one jar to Accra and it’s getting very empty as we have not found it here yet. Now his cheese and pickle sandwiches are safe for a while longer!
And of course, I bought coffee beans….. Tanzanian, Kenyan, and Ethiopian, most at the airport in Dar es Salaam and Addis Ababa. The latter was full of cheap Chinese cigarettes and alcohol, but in tax-free shop number six I found freshly roasted Ethiopian coffee beans, very nice. We have been enjoying them for our morning cappuccini, you can really taste the difference in beans. No need to buy insanely expensive Italian espresso when there is more local coffee available, though Ghana may not be a coffee hotspot yet.