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  • So, is it hot?

    Yes, it's hot, hot, hot and sweaty, sweaty, sweaty! Anita and I are currently enjoying a cool 35 degrees and a humidity of sweat buckets aplenty! And we've only had one day on the beach so far!

    Is it nice?

    No, it's really horrible. Much prefer to be cozying up in front of the tv or panic-buying for Xmas presents. Though getting hassled left, right and center, by taxi touts, safari conmen, hash scammers or apparent devotees of Bob Marley (out of the two of us, I really expected Anita to get hassled the most, but she just breezes by as shouts of "Rasta Man!" echo from in front and behind), I could do without. All part of the pleasure as a mazungu (white man who walks in circles and can never find the tourist office) in Africa. But apart from that, there's the sweat-soaked sheets of sleepless nights (and that's just from lying still!), cholera outbreaks and - for us - the unavoidable stomach upsets (Anita was going for the world record for how many times she could go to the toilet in one night!). Nice, it's bloody fantastic!

    Have you got a tan yet?

    Well, Anita's got a healthy glow (no lobsters yet) and I'm growing a beard to add a bit of darkness to my face with the vain hope of one day blending in with the locals. Ahem.

    Have we seen any wild beasties?

    Apart from a certain wildman and mzungu chizi (crazy white man who walks in wavy lines every night), my mate Jens, we've seen giant cockroaches, peacocks, geckos, humungous spiders, but looking forward to lots more to come?. Early days yet.

    How is the shopping?

    Endless. But we've restrained ourselves so far as we keep going over-budget as it is. And also we don't have any more room in our backpacks.

    Have you sent each other out to work?

    Not yet, but that might have to happen. Anita seems really keen to get back to work, but I'm trying to dissuade her.

    Are you staying in a hotel or a rucksack?

    The rucksack's a bit cramped, so we splashed out on the luxury YWCA in Dar es Salaam for five nights, then the Haven Hotel in Stone Town for two, now the Riverman, but looking to move again, looking for the perfect cheap backpacker location.

    Did you remember to pack everything?

    Didn't forget a thing. Honest. Wish we had forgotten most of it, would've been much lighter.

    What are the sunsets like?

    Had a glorious sunset yesterday whilst draining beers at a beach bar called Mercury's (yes, after Freddy, apparently it's been ten years already!) for one pound a bottle. Yes, orange and pink-tinted skies with dhows gliding over the Indian Ocean, turquoise emerald seas, all makes it worthwhile.

    What are the sunrises like?

    Haven't quite managed that one yet, though we are getting up damn early, especially for us.

    Do the birds sing in a different language?

    No, they don't sing at all here. We don't get woken up by the birds, we get woken up by the muezzins' wailing prayers.

    What did you have for tea? In fact what are the cups of tea like?

    Sweet with a hint of ginger, cardamon or whatever spice you feel like. Food-wise, we had a lovely bit of fried kingfish tonight, lots of Indian curries, grilled seafood, pizza, chicken and beans and funny white mashy stuff that looks like a lump of lard, but tastes a bit less bland.

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