Sunday, October 30, 2011

a day

A day in Dar es Salaam last week went wrong and stayed wrong.
In the end, I was happy to survive it.
  • A boy crossing the street in front of our bajaj was hit by a motorcycle. The boy's kettle went flying, cinders scattering, and he was knocked to the ground, but got up moments later, shaken but okay. The motorcyclist and passenger slowed briefly, then roared away.
  • Later I saw a lorry overturned in the street, remains still smoking, people standing around staring and disoriented.
  • A friends' flight was delayed 11 hours, which meant the unraveling of a complicated network of hotel, bus and dinner reservations, flurries of texts, phone calls, internet searches and consultations with frazzled clerks.
  • A man at the bus station was alternately insulting, nefarious, and thieving; after an hour or so of abuse, one of his co-workers waved us out to the parking lot, consulted with an unknown source, and called a big-wig who solved our problems and promised to sack the thieving boss.
  • And with that, it was gin o'clock.

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