- The mountain, in all her moods. Astonishing from every angle
- The weddings. Full brass bands, all dressed the same, in the back of open, ribbon-laced pickups, heading the wedding precession, stopping the traffic and entertaining the crowds on a Saturday.
- The rotating chefs. The restaurants don’t matter, the chefs have a following. A restaurant closes down and the chef moves somewhere else ‘Mary works at such-and-such-place now’
- The mix. Mosque sits next to church; the fancy two-story house glances down at a humble duka* selling biscuits that smell of washing powder and decanted bottles of paraffin; the factory squats next to cattle boma (no, the effing factory is not a thing I love about this town); the mud and cow dung house with shiny tractor outside.
- The sunflowers by the airport
- The random giraffe patterned bench that someone made a couple of weeks ago at the TGT junction
- The grasscutters at the airport. Every month or so, when the grass at the airport gets too long a bevy of grasscutter come and swarm the area near the runway, cutting the grass for their cows
- Grotty grubby downtown Mbauda with occasional scrawny trees that sometimes and surprisingly burst into yellow flower.
- The industry. Everyone busy. All the time. Making things, painting things, crafting things, stealing things, returning things, breaking things, fixing things, adapting things.
- The shop art. Storefronts with elaborately painted murals of their wares. From nuts and bolts to tractors to unidentifiable bike parts to cooking oil, cows and bars of soap.
- The daladala** signs. Like fortune cookies, giving you your message for the day. The Long Wait; Cupcake; One Day Yes; Life; Snakeboy; The Long Way; Passion; Painkiller; Faith; Trust; The Lord is our Shepherd; God is Great; Insh’allah and so on. One to suit every mood.
For more pics of this town see janelle and my website Hometown Arusha