“Let’s Get Lost in Dar”

Today I had one of the best days I think I’ve had since moving to Tanzania.  Emily and I decided that we really wanted to get out of the volunteer house and explore central Dar. Because we live in Bahari Beach, we’re really on the outskirts of town and I’ve never been into downtown Dar es Salaam because it is quite far.  Our main draw for going into town was the fabric market, which we had heard was huge and had an almost unimaginable amount of kangas, batik and scarves to buy.  We knew that we wanted to make an entire day of our adventure, document it fully and have  a really fantastic time.

Our first stop was lunch.  We went to Samaki-Samaki (literally fish-fish), a restaurant in Mbezi Beach.  If you couldn’t guess from the name, they specialize in fish.  I ended up getting the Changu Fish Sticks, Emily got fried Calamari and we decided to split an absolutely ENORMOUS pitcher of fruity sangria.  We both agreed it was probably one of the best meals we’ve had since getting here.  There really is nothing like sitting in the sunshine, eating delicious fresh fish, listening to smooth jazz renditions of Celine Dion songs and drinking massive amounts of sangria.  Once we were decidedly full, we grabbed a badgagi to take us into Dar.

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Our main goal was the fabric market, but we only had a vague idea of where it was, so we got dropped off by the clock tower in the centre of Dar and started to wander.  It was actually lovely to just walk around and see more hustle and bustle than we were used to.  After asking for directions from a couple of fairly useless security guards and multiple wrong turns, we stumbled onto the market.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures, but there were multiple stalls and alleys FILLED with piles and piles of fabric.  It was overwhelming and wonderful.  I ended up purchasing 2 pieces of Batik and a beautiful scarf, once again getting to put my Kiswahili bartering skills to the test.

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After we had purchased all of our fabric we decided to attempt to get to the other market we had our eye on, called Kisutu Market.  We had had our fill of wandering, so we took a short cab ride to the market and spent a great half hour wandering around all of the fruit and vegetable stalls, chatting with shop owners and sampling various exotic fruits.  We ended up buying a Pomello, Lycee Fruit, and Prickly/Regular Pears.  They made an excellent dinner tonight!

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As the cherry on top of a perfect day, our bajaji home ended up taking us through the back route to get back to Bahari Beach instead of on the crowded, smoggy main road.  It was really incredible to wind through the small neighbourhoods filled with slanting houses and tiny shops.  By the time I got back home, I was overwhelmed with what an amazing day I’d had. Tanzania has truly managed to find its way into my heart.

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2 thoughts on ““Let’s Get Lost in Dar”

  1. Sounds like that was an amazing day! Keep updating on here! Can’t wait til you’re home to hear about everything 🙂

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  2. WOW ! Shannon, love hearing about your incredible time in Tanzania. You write with a lot of heart, and I’m sure I would be forever changed as well, from such an experience. Well done. Can’t wait to read more and see you when you get back home to London.

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