Friday, September 7, 2012

Arusha Accommodation

Which way ya going, Billy?

I went to a restaurant after saying goodbye to my friend Edward. He had mentioned the Lutheran Center and I hadn't paid him much mind, but when I looked up from my chicken hash and out the window, I was staring directly at the front doors to the Lutheran Center. What a coincidence, I thought. I hadn't stayed at a religious center since my disastrous trip to the Hong Kong Mission so I wasn't that enthusiastic. However, being far from all the cheap hotels, I went over after my lunch and introduced myself to a big chap at the front desk. He smiled and stuck out a bear paw, but he didn't understand what the hell I said, so he waved one of the clean-up crew over who he then instructed to take me down the street to a five-star hotel. I shook my head when I saw where we were going. No, no, no, let's go back and start over. We returned to the Lutheran Center where I then met Lazarus (Biblical names for all) who said 'Yes, yes, you can stay here for $25,000 shillings a night and I'll show you your room.' What luck! A room and two bathrooms and the whole upstairs empty except for me!


Caliste, who took me up the street to find an expensive hotel room. Dude, I'm staying at your place!


It's the same thing everywhere I go. I could have thorns sticking out of my arse and gummy clothes but because I'm western, the natives always assume I'm looking for a 5-star hotel at $150/night. Below, my simple little room which suited me just fine and the entrance hall and book rack downstairs.


Two friends I made from the Evangelical Church down the street - Marcel and Raymond and on the right another Raymond, the night watchman. He was so incredibly sweet!


Crafts Market in Arusha. Almost everything was beautifully beaded. There were three alleyways of stalls behind these women with purses, knicknacks, carvings, wall-hangings, jewelery, hats, scarves, shoes and dresses.


Some of the streets were pretty torn up and the construction work (according to one local) had been going on 'forever!' It was very dusty during the day.


Gideon, my tour guide operator, took a shortcut to the Arusha airport - through the backroads. I was sure I was going to be late because he couldn't drive more than 10mph the roads were so bad and everybody else was taking a shortcut, too!


At the airport for my flight to Zanzibar! Mt. Meru is in the distance, although it was too hazy to get a good shot.