Blog Tanzania

Tobias the craftsman…


…or flip-flops are no safety shoes

Let’s start with the positive side of this little story – finally the gutter (Dachrinne) was attached to the roof, and I have to say it looks nice and even and could probably even serve it’s purpose. For some time we’ve had some problems during heavy rainfall (which happens even now during the “dry” season from time to time), when all the rain dropped from the roof and in front of the house on the ground, it would very quickly flood the ground. So this should be solved now, and for the ones that know my technical skills – I will soon add a picture of it as proof, because I almost can’t believe it myself. However, during the works I was stupid enough to throw some old piece of wood (of course with old and rusty nails) on the ground, only to forget about them again 5 minutes later, and step onto one of those nails, not wearing more than my flip-flops. It bled like a pig at the butcher, but there is a reason why my football mates back in Switzerland called me “Dr. Cisk” (for that purpose my name should now be changed into “Dr. Ndovu), so of course I was equipped with the right “tools”, medication and knowledge to clean the wound and help myself. Nevertheless it was back to the hospital once more, this time for myself, to get my “tetanus” shot.

Another new experience I tried out this week the hairdresser. I think it is common knowledge that Michael Jackson was rather an exception with respect to his hair style, and that people from around this region of the globe all tend to have a very similar way of how to cut their hair. But Patrick confirmed to me that they would have no problems with my hair, since they have a big experience for such type of haircuts and the mzungus – I do not believe him anymore on that, since the one and only question you are asked when sitting down on the chair is: “What number”? It took a while for me to figure out that they meant the length of the trimmer. Since my Swahili still is not fluent yet, and the figaro’s English didn’t go much further beyond his initial question, we had to leave it at that, which resulted in me ending up looking as if I was to join the U.S. Marines. This also thanks to the fact that the figaro’s skills with the scissors where about as profound as his English skills (or as mentioned at the start, my technical skills). But, it’s hot anyway, so nothing wrong with just extremely short hair, is there…?

Last Wednesday we also visited the Kariakoo market again in Dar Es Salaam town. So far I’ve only experienced it above ground level, but this time Patrick also showed me the fish and fruit market part. In the middle of the market, there is something that looks like the entry of a tunnel that leads to an underground square which is below a building. It’s hard to describe the scent that meets you going down there. But being on this underground market square, is definitely one of the most fascinating sights I have seen in these 3 weeks that I have been here now. The room is approximately 100 x 100 meters and along the wall, almost shoulder by shoulder are the fish sellers. The fish are all dried and lie in piles of about 1 meter – I have never ever seen such a huge amount of fish on one spot, and I really wonder who’s to eat all this. In the “inner circles” you could find all other sorts of food, vegetables, potatoes, fruits etc. But seeing that also gives you an idea where the odour comes from. We then went one floor up again where within that building you were able to buy literally all different sorts of household and gardening equipment. We were just about to walk up the stairs for yet another floor higher, when down came 3 impressive, tall grown massai, traditionally dressed in their red sheets, their knife and the stick in their hand, just discussing over their newly purchased bicycle… That was quite an amusing sight to see these proud massai warriors debate over a bicycle.

Next time I will try to publish some pictures… until then