Thursday, April 1, 2010
The first two nights we stayed at the Jambo Inn in the city centre. It's very budget and has a good restaurant downstairs. Good for one night if you are catching the ferry to Zanzibar in the morning, but I wouldn't recommend it for longer than a night. Our last night we stayed at the Q-bar and this I recommend highly. Double the price of the Jambo Inn, but worth every penny. A great English breakfast with proper filter coffee is included in the price.
Of course being me, there has to be some crazy madcap adventure to our weekend away. We once again fell foul to corruption on the roads. What is it with me and these traffic guys? On the way to Dar we were only stopped twice, and both times the little traffic policeman looked in the car and asked if Siobhan was my daughter. Although, the first one actually first asked if she was my son. When I said yes, they waved me to continue driving. Most bizarre. Did they think I was kidnapping her or something?
But on the way back, a loose wire somewhere in the car was telling the car a door was open, which caused my hazard lights to flash on and off all the time. I slammed all the doors closed so forcefully, that I almost sprained my wrist. But, that damn loose wire was still sending out the wrong signals. We left Dar confusing all the other drivers in the torrential rain, as they didn't know which way we were turning. There's nothing like a car not doing what it's supposed to be doing, to put me in a bad mood, which poor Siobhan got the brunt of. My girl, I'm sorry for snapping at you when you only wanted to give me a piece of melted chocolate while I was trying to negotiate the road in the pouring rain with my hazard lights flicking on and off like a disco.
"Look," the little helper man said, and took the speed of the next car. 21km an hour. "See how slow he's going?" Of course, he didn't realise by doing that, he was wiping out the speed of my car.
"Well," I said with a grim smile trying to feign patience, "He's only going slow because he can see you and me dancing around in the road. In fact, he's going so slow he's a hazard to the safety of the rest of us on the road. He should be the one you stop and fine."
The main traffic guy didn't fall for my advanced female logic. "So do you want to go to court, or can I write you a ticket for TSH 20 000?" That's roughly $20.
"But what speed was I going again? Show me?" I knew that I had them foxed as they had replaced my speed reading with the reading from the next car.
The traffic guy laughed. "If you go to court you'll win as we don't have your speed anymore, but think of how much time and expense fighting it in court will take?"
He had me. His English was far too good. "Well then, I fine you TSH 20 000 for having such a bad road with potholes, it's a danger to drivers," I countered.
He agreed with me, and by then all the traffic police were laughing and pointing to the potholes in the road. I thought I'd won the battle, but then he produced the ticket book again. "So, court or fine?"
Bastard. "How about, I just give you TSH 10 000 and we forget about court and fine?"
"Sure," the greedy corrupt bastard said as he held out his hand to take my money.
Civilisation comes with a price, I reckon. It opens the doors for corruption.