Adventure Time gifs, art yo, baconguacmaple, cakes oh my, catte friend, collecting daladalas, construction in Tanzania, daladala interior, donkeys, duuust, floor dilemma, Fort Jesus, fried bread is the best, genius cooking ideas, Ghana in Tanzania, interviews, Lake Victoria, moderately ok burritos, Mwanza, NIMR, pikipiki level: expert, pilau, puppies omg, tanzania, tanzania roads, tanzanian pilau, thirdworldproblems, Tilapia Hotel, unhealthy cat love, what am i doing with my life?
I’ve had a lot of interesting moments in the last week, and a lot of them could fall under the category of “This is Africa” (TIA for short) moments. I mean some of them are small and relatively normal, like nearly every single person I see saying hello in some form or the other to me…
The best part about the construction worker who always shouts “EY RAFIKI” (hey friend!) after me, amongst other incomprehensible things, is that he is always doing some construction thing that completely defies safety regulations or even the basic principles of efficiency. It is literally all done by hand. When they needed to take cement or bricks to the upper floor, men stood in the scaffold and passed it up to each other. I now understand why the apartment floor was so slanted, but it’s really the best they can do.
Last Friday I went again to Igombe for my last set of customer interviews, which went really well. The mamas there, and those at the kitchen in Mecco were really helpful – roping in customers for me to talk to and harangue. I also got a really, really good mental map drawn by someone who dreamed of being a cartographer – they were saving up for school. In any case, the way there isn’t so bad because I got a lift, but on the way back – after stopping for a chunk of bread and some soda (600tsh/$0.38). One of the daladalas was leaving Igombe stand, and I didn’t want to wait for another to fill up – there isn’t really a schedule per se. The conductor waits until the daladala is full (or sufficiently full if it takes long enough) and then leaves. I hailed the conductor and we ran on – my translator wasn’t convinced there were seats, but there were at the back. The name of the daladala was “Tilapia Express”. The driver was a maniac. We’d taken the roads at about 20km/h max, but he was going much, much faster. I thought we might die. We started racing with another daladala (these daladalas are also bigger than the usual ones, since the distance is farther), and won, though we had to swerve to stay on the road. Every time we hit a bump everyone sailed up in the air, and I laughed like a crazy person. It was also very, very dusty.
I was happy to be back in town, albeit two or three hours after I said I would be. It went well. Caren and I went to Masai market and the covered market to buy touristy stuff for her and I decided since I hadn’t really done much tourist type stuff to join her. I had also found out earlier that a man I’d met, Jan, was going to go on safari on the Saturday, though it didn’t end up working out, it would have been nice for Caren to go. Instead on Saturday we hung out with a bunch of people and went to Masai market, before finishing up and going home. On Sunday morning we finished up all the shopping Caren wanted to do and then went to the airport. I skyped with my parents after getting back in town, then I visisted David, who’d dislocated his ankle and was back early from travelling. Despite this, he made pizza and it was pretty good.
On Monday I spent most of the day at home, since I felt kind of dizzy. There wasn’t any meeting, but I managed to arrange most of my remaining interviews, thankfully. I learned how to make pilau, which is a sort of rice-meat-potato biriyani thing. It was nice to sit outside with the house staff and make it over a charcoal fire. I liked how they put a lid on the (huge) pot and then put coals on the lid for a sort of convective (???) effect. I will post the recipe soon – once I find the spices involved.
On Tuesday I did some interviews and went shopping at the market for fruit and vegetables. I also made burritos again, but I feel like I failed due to feeling really tired. I am so exhausted. I didn’t even make salsa. I used ground beef. Etc.
The next day I did more interviews and then made more food. I’m a pretty boring person sometimes… except when I invent something of abject culinary genius. That thing is fried bread x guacamole x bacon x maple syrup. Guacamole = avocado + salt + lime + hot pepper + red onion. I forgot cilantro and felt like the worst, then I realised, whatever. And I ate it. Fast. It was delicious.
Thursday, or rather today, was delivery, and was my last time delivering to all the kitchens. I went with a mission to say goodbye, and also to give one mama the shoes she’d asked for, which I couldn’t give her since I was wearing them. Saving on baggage weight is easy if you give some things away. 🙂 I met my cat friend again at the office, and he tried to get another biscuit out of me. I think biscuits might be bad for cats, so I didn’t give him another, but I did give him a lot of fuss. Then I washed my hands hardcore. I took a shakey bad video too, but I don’t feel like including it, since it wasn’t very good… like the quality of this blog is ultra high in the first place…
We went off and collected the probiotic and I carried a bunch of heavy boxes down the stairs. I started wondering how they got the deep freezers all the way up on the 2nd (or 3rd to North Americans) floor – PS this floor dilemma is haunting me for all the rest of my life. I have to always double check that people understand what I mean. It is horrible and I can’t think of a viable solution. But I digress… they carried the deep freezers up as things usually are done here – with a bunch of people. Though I suppose they are lighter when they are empty… TIA.
We went off to the first kitchen and when we got there, we ate some chapati and drank some yoghurt. When we were finished, Cele, the driver, couldn’t start the van with the key. We sat there for some minutes until Christina managed to mysteriously start the car, and the problems were solved. We delivered more probiotic.
Also I was watching daladalas even though I feel my collection is pretty good… and I finally captured it. The shining glory of all daladalas – Fort Jesus. Fort Jesus implies safety and an impregnability that I like in a daladala, especially given that most of the drivers apparently are chewing khat all day.
In any case, the delivery was done and I promised to bring “mzungu pilau” to work tomorrow, so I hope they will like my weird breakfast pilau I’m going to make. This evening I visited a friend to chat for a while, and then I went to Tilapia to check on my parents’ reservation, which they could not find, so I had to make another one, for my mum’s desired 1st floor (2nd floor, North America) lake view room. Now I’m a bit worried the tour company either didn’t book it or booked it under an insane name, since three rooms were booked under a really weird name mishmash but I thought I’d rather risk it and pay $25 if I was wrong. On the way to do this I had yet another TIA moment – the pikipiki man was taking me through the roundabout and another pikipiki almost took us right out. We basically bumped sides, but the pikipiki man I had was a) not drunk or high and b) fairly competent) so we didn’t crash really or fall, but we did both yell at the other pikipiki guy who then proceeded to follow us a little bit asking me to marry him. I don’t know how I attract this situations – I was told it’s fairly unusual for that kind of thing to happen. But it did. And it was weird.