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Pole pole

Day 13 - Stonetown, Zanzibar

We left the Tanzania mainland today for Zanzibar which is an island off the coast.  We had to say goodbye to our safari guide which was sad, he was so good, but we're on to warmer pastures.  But first we had to get into another small plane to do that.  Tyler insisted on sitting right behind the pilots so he could see what they were doing (because he feels he could fly the plane) and even offered to copilot it.  They politely declined.  As soon as the pilot spoke I was very suspicious of him, he had a French accent and a name like Jean Claude.  He seemed be sneaky and arrogant.  And my distaste for him was not futile; half way during the flight he had both hands off the steering wheel and was eating a bag of mangos!  I mean, come on.  I can see if you're in a huge plane where the passengers can't see you then fine eat your mango but when we are literally all crammed into a plane and I can basically see up your nostril, then please try to instill some confidence in us and put your mango away.  As soon as we got to Zanzibar the warmth was upon us, to finally break out the sunscreen.  For the next two nights we are staying in stonetown which is the capital city of Zanzibar.  We were brought to our hotel and headed out soon after for a walking tour of the city.  Stone town is a Muslim community and there is a mix of Arab, Indian and Black people here.  Its kinda cool.  The town is like a maze of  narrow streets lined with stone buildings/houses.  It is so much of a maze that the hotel gives you a cellphone to take with you to call them if/when you are lost.  The city looks really run down (like it was probably nice back in the 1800s but they haven't painted since then)  but it actually is a bit pretty, with intricate doors and carvings in unexpected places.  The city is completely walkable and there are kids playing in the little streets and men just sitting hanging out in small squares.   Stone town was the centre of slave trade for Eastern African and so we visited an old slave chamber where they kept the slaves until they were bought and sent away (really awful). Slave trade ended in around 1860.  We also visited a market, and other buildings that had  historical  meaning. Did you know Freddy Mercuri (lead singer of Queen) was born in Zanzibar? Well now you do.  At night we went to the night market which is basically a park along the water with tonnes of different food stalls.  We tried a lobster Zanzibar pizza which was ok (not like our pizza) but Tyler was creeped out because all he could taste was the egg they threw in the middle of it.  We then headed to a restaurant where you sit on the floor to eat and listened to some live music (mix of Indian and African?).   We have already noticed that everything done here is very slow (they say "pole pole" in Swahili which means slowly slowly).   I'm the control freak but surprisingly Tyler is getting annoyed with this pole pole more than me, feels good, lol.  

Posted by tanyatyler 22:14 Archived in Tanzania

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