A (Tiny) Taste of Tanzania

May 24, 2010

After a frustrating few days in Dubai (Long story short: My toilet backed up thanks to the apartment above me using too much tissue... the people sent to fix it are clueless and left my without a working toilet... great for somebody who drinks 2 litres of water a day!) I was looking forward to a relaxing layover in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. I wasn't sure what to expect, since before joining my airline I'd never even heard of the city.
It began as a normal day of work. Woke up super early, headed to the briefing, met the crew and headed to the aircraft. As it was a relatively short and easy flight, we were all in high spirits, making plans to drink cocktails by the pool. Once onboard, we completed all of our pre-departure duties and waited for the passengers to arrive. It was then that we were notified that we were facing a 2 hour delay due to technical issues. We were all a bit upset by this news, but that's just a fact of life in this industry. For 2 hours we sat around, ate crew food, and grew impatient. 2 hours passed by and the problem still hadn't been solved. Apparently overwhelmed, the ground staff insisted that we board the passengers, so there we were with a broken aircraft full of tired people wanting to go to Tanzania. Another hour passed and we were informed that we'd be switching aircrafts. Sounds simple, until you factor in that every passenger has mass amounts of baggage that we've strategically placed in the overhead bins. Not only that, but we'd have to transfer everyone, their carry on luggage, the cargo, and catering. We'd also have to complete our pre-departure duties once again. It may have been frustrating but the fact was that there was nothing that we could do about it, so we just continued working. We finally departed.. 6 hours after our scheduled departure time, and 30 minutes after we were due to land in Dar. The passengers were extremely understanding despite the chaos that it had caused them. I came to discover that many of them were Canadians, which was a nice surprise. We chatted about home, the cold weather, and how life in the desert is far different than life on the prairies. I was exhausted after what was meant to be a 5 1/2 hour flight had turned into 10 hours. By the time we reached the hotel my plans of cocktails and a nice dinner were thrown out the window. I headed to my room, ran a bubble bath and called it a night.
Determined to make the most of my now shortened layover, I woke up at 7 am to meet a few of the others for breakfast. I tried my best to be healthy, but the bacon looked crispy and perfect... I had to have it. After we'd got our fill of food, 3 of us decided to venture out to the local market in search of fresh fruit. We caught a taxi and took photos out the window as we drove down busy streets. Among the 3 of us was myself, Sienna from Australia, and Maryanne from Kenya. Maryanne's knowledge of the language proved extremely useful. As we emerged from the taxi at the crowded market, Sienna and I clearly stuck out amongst the crowd. "White people!" They shouted in their language, clearly surprised to see us. A few people touched our arms as we walked by, pointing out to one another the fact that we clearly were not of the same skin color. It sounds overwhelming, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The locals were extremely friendly and those that spoke English greeted us warmly with "Sister!". We walked past stall after stall of fruits, vegetables, and spices. Some set up makeshift stalls... neatly arranged fruit lying on the street. Cars became stores, with goods piled high on the roofs and trunks. We sampled local snacks and bargained for lower prices. I left satisfied with bags full of tangerines, passion fruit and mangoes. I have enough to last me weeks, at a cost of roughly 3 Canadian dollars. Our taxi driver had kindly waited as we shopped, so we hopped back into the air conditioned cab and went back to our hotel. We'd lucked out and missed the rain, but by the time we reached the hotel it was pouring. My plans to lie by the pool were replaced by the gym... probably for the best anyways. I ran off the bacon I'd had for breakfast and went back to my room to get ready. Lunch was included in the room rate, so I planned to get my fill before the flight. I met a few of the other crew members and once again, despite my desperate attempts at healthy eating, there was crab on the buffet. Delicious, fresh crab.... and a massive table full of beautiful desserts. I ate until I couldn't move and then headed to check out and prepare for the flight back home. It was a short layover, but I was satisfied that I'd made the most of what little time I had.
Fortunately, the flight was not delayed this time around. We had a light passenger load and it was a super easy flight back to Dubai. Regardless of what flight I'm on, as we reach the final hours visions of my bed motivate me to keep working... I'll be there soon! Exhausted, I reached my apartment and to my excitement my toilet had been fixed while I was away! I crawled into bed, happy to be home, happy to be able to pee in my own apartment, and one day closer to seeing Ryan.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

:)

Anonymous said...

Aww Krysta you're soo cute! And it's going to be soo exciting to see you again!
--Cass

Arslan said...

Oh your blog is awesome!!!
Always post many many photos. Cheers.

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