Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beach bum time

I guess we decided that three days was enough, and together with two girls from Holland (chalk up two more) we headed for the ferrie headed to Zanzibar. There is absolutely only one price for the slow ferrie, $20. We figured that to mean that there was only one class of seat. we where wrong. As we boarded, I thought to myself, this is going to be a long 3 to 4 hours. It was crowded and all there was for seating was rows of benches, like in a church. But this thought was short lived however, because without even looking at our boarding passes, the porter guided us upstairs to VIP. It was all lounge chairs and couches, a nice t.v where we watched Bourne Identity, and huge viewing windows. The best part was the freezing AC, that felt even cooler when coming from the first deck. I was baffled, not quit understanding. But a guy who has done the trip a few times told us that if you are white, they automatically stamp your ticket with VIP, no charge. Sure enough, there was mine. (maybe white people were getting robbed in 2nd class and stopped coming?) It felt like the olden days in the U.S when blacks went to the back of the bus... Not one black person in VIP. I felt a guilty pleasure as I debarked the ship, walking past the rows of sweaty 2nd classers. Truth be told, I wouldn't have paid extra for the upgrade, it was much nicer than the Illala in Malawi, and only 3 to 4 hours. But hey, what can you do?
Once in Zanzibar, they stamp you passport and make sure you have a yellow fever vaccination, something they didn't even do to get into Tanzania. Then we all took a cheap shared taxi to a hostel that the girls had reservations to. It was a bit pricey, so me and Jason stowed our bags in the girls room and wandered around Stone Town in search of cheaper accommodation. Even if you've been to Stone Town ten times, I promise you you will get lost walking around. The place we ended up finding was literally 200 meters away, yet took 30 minutes to get back. Every building looks the same it seems, and the streets are just paved alley ways going every which way, and only wide enough for a scooter. the buildings are all at least three stories, and you can't see far down each road/alley. It was an adventure. The place we were looking for (can't remember the name now) is the word for hello in Swahili. So every time we asked kids where (lets call it Mamba) was, they would just all yell mamba mamba!! We would point and say, Mamba? They would all nod and yell mamba and point in the same direction. After a while of walking in circles, we finally stumbled upon another place called Manch.? It was cheapish, about $15, so we stayed. But first we had to make the long trek back to Santa Monica backpackers to get our bags. We didn't know it was also a church, so when we would ask where Santa Monica was, people would say, "ah yes, the church!" and we would say no and keep walking. After 20 minutes we found it though. On the way back we stumbled upon it right away, in 5 minutes or less... we had to laugh.

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