Thursday, 14 June 2012

Dar es Salaam the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

I rolled into Dar es Salaam late mid-afternoon after an absence of six years.  It was crowded with people and vehicles, obviously showing signs of growth as all cities do.   Reminiscing the good old days in Dar es Salaam filled me with a pleasureable feeling.  It was a metropolitan of many fine memories that I knew quite well, and had come to love.  My favourite weekend places were on the beaches outside the hustle and bustle of city life.   So I was coming to a familiar city and familiar people.  I sojourned with the Setebe family. 
Traffic in Dar es Salaam

One fine bright and sunny day, two days after I had settled in with my hosts, I went sight-seeing into the city.  One thing that immediately struck me was the stacks and stacks of Coca-Cola crates just round the corner.  In South Africa, it is one of the most affordable drink loved by many.  I personally have not had a drop in thirty-five years of my few years of life.  That is one drink, a friend once remarked, you will find on the moon.  I chuckle because I remember the commedy: The God’s must be Crazy in which a Bushman travels to the end of the earth to get rid of a Coca-Cola bottle that was thought to bring misfortune and conflict.

The traffic was diverse and thick.  Once could tell that the living standards of the citizens of Dar es Salaam had improved by the number of cars on the street as well as other developments.  On the subject of transportation, it was interesting to observe that a new mode of transportation that had hitherto not existed in Dar ― Indian Bajaj ― was abound and highly sought after.  Someone with business acumen has seen an opportunity for investment and taken full advantage of it.
Indian Bajaj
I came round a corner, and there was a vendor with a heap of pineapple right behind him.  These tropical fruits that can grow to the size of a toddler are a common delicacy.  Let me pre-empt you by saying that all along my return trip to South Africa, pineapples formed an important aspect of my meals.
Pineapple Vendor

I continued on my sight-seeing journey into the city, and at Mlimani city on Sam Nujoma Road was a Shoprite retail chain.  The first one was opened in 2001 and this was a second one.  I went window shopping to compare prices.  Needless to say they offered a variety of goods and made shopping easy.  As for the prices that is for the shoppers to tell.

Mlimani City

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