Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Things I love about this town

- 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.

**minibus taxi

For more pics of this town see janelle and my website Hometown Arusha


Amanda said...

i am completely enthralled by these daladalas. moveable wisdom, patrolling the streets.

amazing images.

Lemon Gloria said...

I love the daladalas! Jealous people never win! Love!

Can I invite myself to visit you one day?

Miranda said...

Amanda - I know, they're great. I always take note of the signs

Lisa - come and visit! yes yes!!

Spiny Marshmallow said...

It mysteriously lost my comment. Of pure joyful appreciation for your marvellous and inspiring posts. I have emerged from my shell and am so delighted to read your fab writings. So if the first comment appears then this just says the same