Africa, Destinations

The Long Good Bye To ZanZEEbar

December 29, 2008 • By

So excited to leave this morning that I woke up at 6 am to take my final stroll along the Indian Ocean.  The neatest thing occurs on the PAJE side of the Island.  At 6 am, the water nearly occupies all of the beach but by 9 am the tide has retreated so far out you can literally walk on the sand about 2 kilometers.  It is truly an amazing thing to see.  The sand -white and clay like is slimy under your feet and all you can see for miles is seaweed and little pockets of swimming pools left for the local kids to splash around.  Seeing the ocean roll back like that gives you a feeling of what the world would be like without the water.  Mosesesque if you will.  By 2 pm, the water is back and the local women are done with their “fishing.”  To watch these women is incredible.  They line up waiting for the tide to roll out and they have like 50 foot long sticks that they take into the water.  They are searching for octopus and other edibles.  When the women start to walk back, you know the tide is about to come back in.  If you are wondering they leave their fort of sticks for the ocean to wash away.

I spent the last two days at a place called the Dhow Inn.  It’s owned by a Dutch man and run by a young charming Dutch woman Karima.  Should you find yourself in Paje definitely pay the hotel a visit maybe just don’t ask for the “cottage.”  I met Karima through my new found friend Kirsten who accompanied me on the ferry from Dar to Zanzibar.  I’ve decided after meeting many Dutch in the last two days there is definitely something in the water there.  They are all tall and beautiful and incredibly sweet.  They treated me like a friend they had known forever. 

After sorting things out this morning, Karima, Kirsten and I headed back to Stone Town so I could catch the Ferry back to Dar.  We were very short on time and I needed an ATM.  Note to self:  Don’t try to get money anywhere on a Monday.  Many of the locals were trying to harass me about the ferry ticket.  Karima with all her hutspa of a local tore through the crowd and started speaking Swahili to them.  TAKE THAT… more being the victim. She even made fun of them thanking them for the escorts to the windows.   Unfortunatley, we were too late and I had to settle for the 4 pm ferry. 

The ferries here are known as the barf ferries or at least that is what I call them.  And they did not disappoint this afternoon.  In the blazing sun,we board the ferry.  Now answer this for me: Why is the AC on before we board but the minute we get on the shit goes off?  I was thankful to have a seat and I settled in ready for the journey.  In the back of my head, I was slightly worried about the empty seat next to me but whatever.  Low and behold my seat mate turned out to be a man missing his legs and smelled like vomit.  I’m sorry I did feel bad for him but I felt worse for myself.  I tried very hard to contain myself but after my glands in the back of my throat started to water I had to think fast.  Since I tossed most of my products to carry a lighter load, the only thing I had to sort of alleviate the problem was baby powder.  After all, breathing into the holder of my blackberry wasn’t going to last for 2 hours.  He clearly sensed my dismay and moved shortly thereafter.  ok ok I’m a bitch.

You know you are in trouble when just after 30 minutes at sea, the crew starts passing out little black garbage bags for people to puke.  Combined with the body odor and now barf I thought I might puke myself.   I just kept thinking breathe in breathe out.  Alas, I survived.  Got to my $36 a night hotel and now I’m planning my next journey to the Serengeti and Mt. Kili.  All and all I met some nice people and had a great time in Zanzibar.  Also learned rich assholes are the same in every country no matter age and sometimes the best people you meet are the ones when you are the most dire.