Monday, January 09, 2006

Africa hates me...(but doing much better now)

Boy do I have so many stories from this trip! Will keep it short, it's about dinner time here...

Well, just when I thought things couldn't get worse...Sean and i went to the Kilimanjaro airport the day we got back from safari with Jonathan and Soyan, who also lost their bags (from Bolivia, though). Needless to say, after spending a bit of time in this dead airport, we were able to reclaim the porter project bag. Yay, one thing taken care of!!! Jonahthan and Soyan were stil missing theirs, however. We figure that we'll just try to get our bag, which we're sure has been pilfered through as it had some good gear in it, in Nairobi. Only a few more days to survive on 1 t-shirt (now two because i got one from the porter project) and a pair of pants. Not worth it to go through the hassle of trying to get our bag to Kili, when we only had a night there, only to have our bag stuck there..etc etc etc...

So anyways...to the 'Africa hates me' part...Sean and I bought our flights to Zanzibar the day we came back from the Kilimanjaro climb. We got the early flight, the 11am one..then Madhu and Cindy bought tickets for them and Tracy and Mary right after we bought our tickets. Mind you, this is about a week ago...

Sean and i got to the Kili airport via a free shuttle from Precision air, super early...got to the airport at around 8am (a taxi costs $50 US one way). They wouldn't let us check in early, so we waited around till just before 10am to check in. The other people on the flight from our trip, Madhu, Cindy, Tracy, Mary, had arrived. When we went to check in, they told us the flight was full and that we were on the waiting list. WE were like, what the fuck..why are we on a waiting list? Well so, the ticket says that we needed to reconfirm the flight. We were pretty remote...Tracy had the same problem, but somehow, they let the 4 girls on the flight. What the fuck? Then Adie and Christie showed up, and were able to get on as well. Again, wtf? And then Brian, Alexa, and Megan also were able to get on. Yeah, once again, wtf? They told us to stand to the side, they'd get a manager, and they'd let us know at 10:30 fi we could get on (that was boarding time as well). Long story short, I have no frikkin' idea how we were not able to get on that damn flight since we we bought our tickets earlier than others (no one else had confirmed either), and checked in first of the entire group. I mean seriously. Dude, you can only imagine how pissed i was...I mean, this trip has been f'ed up in so many ways and i've been able to keep a smile on my face..but damn, how many things could go wrong?

Anyways, long story short, we were able to finagle our way onto the 3:20pm flight to Zanzibar, so after spending a long time in a small, boring airport, we finally made it. Yay, we're here!

We're staying in Stone Town with Jonathan and Soyan, since we had to do a lot of business stuff (buy tickets to Nairobi, bank, etc etc etc) and another reason, we don't have beach stuff. I was really looking forward to hitting up the beach and relaxing in a hammock in a cute cabana, but it isn't going to happen on this trip. i've come to accept that and am enjoying myself in Stone Town. It's a bit hustle and bustle here, but the touts are not as pushy as the ones in Moshi. People are really friendly.

Today, we just wandered around the maze like streets, got lost, found a guy applying liquid to a teak frame. We talked to him for a bit, explored his shop and bought a wooden spoon and spork from him. Found out he's on the Zanzibar football (soccer) team, he said he's at the end of his career and has to do something with his mind rather than his body. Now he does woodcarvings. He even showed us a book he got in Germany with the Zanzibar football team on it. I'm so tempted to go back to his shop and buy a carved teak mirror frame...that, I probably will do once we have our stuff sorted out.

Oh yeah, and I *finally* got sandals after all this time with only a pair of hiking boots. I was more than excited to find "Batman Ocean" sandals that i'm now wearing with a sarong i got in an overpriced market in Arusha.

Today's been awesome, getting lost, finding the Darajani markets where I can find kangas (panels of fabric that women wear with swahili sayings on the bottom) for about 3000 shillings or less (previously paid 4000-6000 shilings for them). Oh gawd, and the street food here is just awesome!!!

Tomorrow is an all day spice tour with a few ruins and history on the way.

Will probably write next when i'm back home. Will be back Friday the 13th...

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