Enjoying everything in Tanzania... except the internet signal. Posts with photos will have to be backlogged until we get back to Nairobi at the end of the week. In the meantime, a few quick narrowband notes.
Tanzania: A(rusha) to Z(anzibar)
It took 19 hours in 2 buses, half an hour in a tuktuk, 4 hours on a slow boat, 10 minutes in a taxi, 5 overnight stays, a lot of haggling, and even more bone rattling on half-paved highways to get to Jambiani beach here on the east coast of fabled Zanzibar Island.
But damn it's worth it!
The sun, the sea, the sand and the sky is every bit as ludicrous as they're hyped to be. Just the humble tide pools here are awash with hermit crabs, sea snails, sea urchins, fish egg sacs and starfish... the snorkeling this afternoon should be interesting.
And admittedly, we ate very well on the road (you can't be that surprised by now). In Arusha – pit stop for travelers headed for the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro alike – we had a fantastic Pakistani BBQ. In Dar Es Salaam, we had authentic Sichuan hotpot thanks to a tipoff from G-Star, a friend from work. Zanzibar – for all its hailed exoticness, got us right in the gut because so many of its flavours and aromas remind of our Indian and Straits Chinese upbringing respectively! More detailed posts to come.
Google's Got My Goat!
In other news, I just found out that YouTube's disabled my “Babs killing the goat” video because it apparently violates YouTube Community Guidelines! How Babs could ever be a violation of a community guideline I'll never know...
Jokes aside, I'm taking it in stride because it's a fair concern. Having the full context of the blog post is one thing (and even that was understandably rough viewing for quite a few readers) and I should have made sure to make sure that context was available on the You Tube page as well. A lesson to be shared with fellow food bloggers! I've included more context on the YouTube page now, so let's see if YouTube will relinquish the video...otherwise I'll need to seek out more enlightened video hosting alternatives when I make it back to Broadband land.
But overall, I've been very encouraged by the wide range of responses to the goat post. Thanks guys! Some cheered us on as fellow foodies, some said the post confirmed their belief in vegetarianism, some said that the post was making them think about whether they were really ok about eating meat. Fantastic. It's all good, whatever decision you come to – the key thing is that the post made you more conscious about how food gets to your plate.
My favourite response, however, came from my grandmother via an email from Mum. Grandma is a constant reminder that all my adventures, at the end of the day, stand on her shoulders. Here's what Mum wrote:
“While we were at Grandma's place yesterday, uncle Steven showed her the blog on the goat slaughtering. I was observing her grimace but thought she was braver than Dad. Ming (Wen: my brother) was watching too but turned away before the end. Then she told us the story of her 1st experience of slaughtering a chicken when she was 12. The chicken got up and ran away. She stood there crying until the chicken dropped dead as there was no one around to help her. Then she went to pick it up and continued with the cleaning and cooking process amidst her tears. What a story!”
I can't wait to see Grandma when I'm back in Singapore for Chinese New Year next February.