Dar can be a very polarizing place to live. Sometimes it’s nothing but love for this amazing country, and other times there’s nothing but sheer frustration for this backwards country. A lot of days, when your tire is flat from running over one too many potholes, and your power is out the half day that you spend waiting for the water delivery to come, and all you want is a jar of kalamata olives so you can make a Greek Salad but NO ONE is selling kalamata olives…well, life is rough, my friends.
But then, every once in awhile, on a perfect weekend afternoon, you will pack your coolers with beer and wine, pick up sandwiches from a local cafe, and head to the Dar Yacht Club. You will hop on a friend’s boat and motor out, away from land and to the vast blue beyond, seemingly away from every day problems and towards something much more blissful. You will use your Google Maps GPS to look for a sand bar that you’ve only seen from above, on the way from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam. You will find aforementioned sandbar, and nickname it, “Sandzibar” (said only in a grand, vibrating baritone voice), then spend a great deal of time debating important matters (where to anchor, whether to re-apply SPF 50 for the 15th time), and hop off to watch the tide recede and slowly uncover an entire island in the middle of the ocean. You will drink said beers and wine, eat said sandwiches. You will be surprised by two kite surfers that have come from the coast of Dar, and be even more surprised when you see that you know them. Gosh, Dar is a small place. They, too, will be surprised that at the end of their journey they have a beer waiting for them. You will talk about everything the way friends do, effortlessly and aimlessly, with topics ranging from ‘the 5 signs of showing love’ to ‘how to be a human bobsled on the dance floor’, all while silently baking under the hot Indian Ocean sun. You will decide that it’s getting too hot, after four short/long hours on the island, and pull up the anchor that was, in the beginning, such an ordeal to anchor. You will head back to shore, but not before taking a long cruise around the bay, stopping to watch the sun set and to take another dip in the ocean. And to polish off that last bottle of white, of course.
So in the end, we must all keep in mind that Dar is really not so bad after all; that for all the insanity in day to day life, there are some major pockets of sanity out here.