Il Diario di Tinton

{2001-06-19}   Day 26 – Zanzibar (boat)

Today I woke up in the bed, by the Norwegian, whom I told to wake me up in the morning. I had breakfast with them, then I started to play Bao with Adam, who was teaching me how to play. I immediately wanted a board myself, so I decided to buy one. myself. Then packed my stuff and checked out, with a damage of like 44USD. The beach in this place was absolutely marvelous. Ladies were always on it collecting see weed to export to the Japanese, who like to eat it.

I was basically waiting for Adam to be ready, so we cold go. This didn’t happened until after lunch,though. And when he said we were ready to go, I asked if we wanted to smoke some ganja, so we went and did it on the beach. But it was a lot, and he ended up not smoking any, basically. So i had to do it all. or almost, and was smashed, then we walked to the dala-dala stop, and that was very hard, maybe because when you are stoned your heart is racing quite a bit, and maybe also because it was very hot, and I had to carry the heavy backpack and such.

At any rate, at the bus stop we met this guy, who seemed to be one of Adams buddies, and he started talking in Swahili, and I was going crazy, as the language was tripping me out: it sounded like Genuese, or Portuguese, but I couldn’t understand a word (not that I can understand a word of Genuese or Portuguese, but the point was that it sounded very familiar, yet it was very distant). I could relate with their expressions, and Adam’s buddy said that from the way I laugh he sometimes thinks that I understand what they are saying, and I replied that when I laugh it’s because I think I understand too.

Then we hopped on the back of the pickup truck with seats and roof, I mean on the dala-dala, and headed off for the city of Zanzibar. The ride was silent. i was just really stoned and looking outside at the vegetation that , as it was winter, it was all green, like intensely dense and green. And I thought to myself:”thank god it’s Winter! In the summer how is it? Like you have to leave because the vegetation just takes over?” But then again I was stoned, so I don’t know how much this thought was important.

These are the rules for the Game of Bao, which I have purchased today with Adam in Zanzibar. I have written the rules myself, and, since they are quite complicated, I have probably forgotten something here and there. But I wrote them immediately, so I would not forget. If somebody has the exact rules, please email me or drop a comment.

Once in the city, we get off at the port, to go buy the ticket. I decided not to stay another night on the island, and instead to save money and ride the ferry at night. That way I get 2 pigeons with one stone: a place to stay, and the ferry all for $25.

We headed for a beer. On the way, I got convinced by a street bum to buy another elephant tail hair bracelet (which was used) for 1000Tsh. Then we stopped for the beer in stone town, which is just like our old city in Genova, maybe smaller, with the streets better maintained, or less old. We stopped at a bar, just in front of a bureau of change, that I mistakenly did not use, and i bought Adam some 3 beers, gave him 1000Tsh, just because I had “lots of them”, and gave him 2000Tsh, so he could buy a chicken alive, for his family. I was in fact going to buy him some food at the bar, but then he thought about it, and told me just to give him 2000Tsh, that way he can buy the chicken, and I can still have some change for the night ferry.

Then he started to talk about what I should do and that I am now on my own life, and should therefore watch it. He basically preached and told me what an idiot I had been with the rastafarian (I had told him the story while at the beach smoking), and how I just wasted another 1000Tsh for the street guy. He talked ant talked, and I was silent, had nothing to say. He also told me about his salary, and how it is not enough, and never will be enough. I was trying to tell him that also when it is enough, people here can’t save, because the rest of the family comes to collect it, but this seemed to be a thought that he didn’t too much pick up , as he was mainly concerned about my safety. He wanted me to call once I get to Arusha.

I was very touched by this conversation. He was talking to me like a parent of family friend, giving me advices and telling me stories that are just like the ones somebody who loves you would give you.

Then we went for a walk. He decided he would walk with me back to the port, as he thought I would get lost, or so something stupid again. On the way we had some kebab sort of thing, for 100Tsh each, and it was great. Very good. Then he departed, and went home. I turned around and headed back toward the port, at the ticket counter, were I had left my luggage.

I sat on the curb, next to some street people, this time aware of what they were and who they wanted (or the other way around but it works both ways). The one guy next to me on the right was clearly tripping on heroin. They obviously started a conversation, and I was chill about it all. After a while, I decided to have a smoke, and as soon as I pulled out the tobacco, they swarmed. Everyone wanted a smoke, so I started rolling, and rolled like 4 or 5 cigarettes, and then called it quits. and said no to the others. I recognized one guy who seemed to be nice in the group, he was Arabic, ad he was actually the one who suggested to stop rolling by saying out loud”OK last one guys, last one for everyone!” and I agreed. We all had the smoke, then I asked at the counter if it was time to board, she said yes, and I went in to pick up my backpack, dropped the 12V stabilized 3Amp transformer, and headed for boarding.

The boat trip was very nice: they put us in the VIP lounge, basically all the tourists, with some kids that were friends of who worked there. I met the tourists, who were two couples, one from England, this guy who came down to work for 6 months, and now is sort of traveling back to his research city, which I think was Arusha, but I am not certain. The other couple, he was South African, and she was Californian. He had climbed the Kilimanjaro last year and paid $900 for it. And we started hanging out and playing the Bao game. Then some locals saw us play and were watching and started to correct as were making mistakes in rules and moves. So then I played with one of them and the game lasted for ever, but I won. then they played against each other and it lasted a lot less. Then I rolled one and 3 of us went outside and smoked it. Then I threw or better flicked the but in the wind and the wind caught it, and it started accelerating more and going further, and the one guy said [something]-colea! Which they didn’t know how to explain, so I insisted, and it turned out to be acceleration. So then I whipped out that acceleration was the measure of gravity and stepped into a whole new world of conversation: Up until now They didn’t know what acceleration, measure or gravity meant. So I started to explain. Measure was easy, gravity a little less, but I think they got it pretty well. I also explained to them that acceleration is measure in m/s^2, and what that meant and they seemed to get it pretty well. Then it was late and we went to bed. In the VIP lounge with air conditioning and mattress on the floor.


Toni says:

Whaaat? Where did the 12V stabilized 3Amp transformer come from??

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