I woke up around 9 the following morning and found that Jake had continued his spiderman transformation that he had started at the beginning of this trip and now he apparently had transformed into a cocoon.
Hoping that he would not turn into Kafka´s Metamorphosis.
For those who are not familiar with Franz Kafk´s book “Metamorphosis” it is a story about a man who wakes up one morning and finds himself transformed into a giant bug.
At least he looked like one in the state he was sleeping.
Tomas was leaving to hitchhike to Kenya to meet up with his father that he hadne´t seen for 1½ year and was packed and ready to go.
Ben was up and running around as well as he had to go to his office to work as it was just another weekday in his case.
Also had received a new text from our friend Emmason in Moshi that he had two more CouchSurfers joining us on the safari.
The message sparked some more trust in him.
When me and Jake were ready we started walking towards the city since the map in Lonely planet showed that it wasn´t such a long distance and Ben had told us that it is a 30min walk from his house into Arusha.
We had first to pass through the village and chose a different road down to the big road then the one we had taken the day before. This was like a dream place in a fantasy land.
A jungle land just like in those Indiana Jones movies you saw back in the 80´s when you were small and that formed your imagination on how a jungle looks like. I guess that Jurassic Park from 1992 formed that for the younger generation of readers.
There were banana trees growing just everywhere and bananas hanging in them everywhere.
As we were walking on the little path a group of young school kids caught up with us looking at us curiously as it was probably not often that they see Mzungu´s in the village.
I managed to get them to group up for a picture together and as always when you travel kids are the best thing.
Easiest way to make them happy and laugh is to take a picture of them and show it to them as they usually never have seen something like it before.
It worked this time as well and they ran ahead of us laughing.
We managed to get down through the village and stopped at a little shack where we ordered fried eggs as breakfast before we headed of on our walking expedition with goal Arusha city.
We walked and walked and walked and walked and had probably been walking fo almost an hour when jake started to question the accuracy of the map.
The nearest hotel got to act as our information desk and the discussion on where we were and where we wanted to go was a long and kind of irritating debate as they hardly spoke any English or maybe it was just me who couldn’t explain to them properly where we wanted to go.
I guess it didn’t really help that they were four people as well all giving different directions and opinions.
We left the hotel lobby kind of fruitless and decided to take the nearest boda-boda (motorbike) to the clock tower which is usually the center of every city in Tanzania and it was no exception in Arusha.
Climbed up on the seat and off we went through probably half of the city before we got to the clock tower.
I don’t think any Mzungu had been so lost and confused as we had been.
unfortunately we got off at the wrong street.
Don´t get me wrong, we got to the right place, just the wrong street.
Just as the motorbikes had stopped the first person came up and wanted to sell me paintings.
As usually I politely turned it down and he started his “nag-until-they-shop-to-get-rid-of-me” mantra and I started my “say-no-thank-you-and-make-him-understand-that-he-can-not-defeat-me-in-this-game” mantra.
And more and more of them started gathering around us trying to make us buy their paintings, bead bands, bracelets, publications, dictionaries, CD´s, T-shirts, hats, safaris and I think the only think no one tried to sell us was women underwear.
Had I asked for it I am pretty sure one of them would have run off just to bring me some.
In some cases these people can be good if you need something but mostly they are just annoying.
One of the guys had caught Jake´s interest with his art and Jake took his time as more and more people showed up.
A guy slided up by my left side and presented himself as “I´m the Doctor Hakuna Matata” That was his precise words and guess what? He was an artist.
The “Doctor” had his own mantra which he used about every second minute and it went “Hakuna Matata – No worries”
I discovered that he said this no matter if you spoke to him or if he just stood by himself and didn’t speak to anyone.
“Hakuna Matata – No Worries”
The doctor was wondering if I wanted to see his painting and I replied, as always, No thank you.
Then the doctor asked me if I was interested in Arusha Gold. I asked what it was and the Arusha Gold now changed name to Bob Marley Gold – in short, marijuana.
I once again said No Thank You and the guy replied “Hakuna Matata – No Worries”
Jake on the other hand had got fascinated by one of the guys paintings and started to bargain quite hard on two paintings that he later bought and that was the end of it.
At least that was what we thought.
As the other guys saw that Jake bought something from one guy he suddenly became the center of the universe and more people showed up trying to sell more paintings to him.
It didn’t matter how much he smiled and said – No Thank You, I have no more money, a No was not taken seriously in this part of Arusha.
We both wanted to use an internet connection so I scouted out the nearby hotel which luckily had a couple of computers hooked up to the internet and I managed to get Jake out of the jaws of the salesmen.
Some of them even tried to follow us into the hotel but they saw the guard staring at them and they decided to wait outside for the generous Mzungus.
The internet didn’t really work and I was curious if they had the same high-speed internet as I have found in Ethiopia that was 64k. We decided to leave but as the vultures were sitting outside we asked if there was a backside out of the hotel and the portier showed us a way out on the back. We had escaped and found instead another internet cafe that had connection.
After an hour or so we headed off towards Ben´s office space to see what he was up to and we walked through the city again that we had passed on the motorcycles just a few hours before.
On the way we passed a small cemetery that was apparently shared as both christians and muslims were buried here which I always takes as a good sign.
As we were closing in to the end of the cemetery we started hearing a lot of noises as if there was a football game going on.
However we could not see anything as there was a big wall and as we got nearer the sound also rose in volume.
Suddenly a big cheer was followed by a revving engine and squeeling tires and suddenly a pickup truck passed us on the road full with people on its back cheering and screaming waving colors. At least 20 people were jammed together on the back of the truck which would be rolling on its back tires if it wasnt for the three people and the engine in the front of the car.
I guess it had to do with something within football as some of the guys sitting on the back of the truck had football shirts with big numbers on their backs.
We found Ben’s office on the fourth floor by the Arusha stadium giving us a bird perspective of the city and the surroundings.
Could see the bustling Dala-dala station where people were selling goods, buying goods for bus journeys, carrying bags, luggage and trying to make a couple of shillings here and there by different ways.
A Dala-dala is the local transport usually built up by a minivan or a smaller cargo truck where they have lifted up two benches on the back and put a roof over it.
We decided that we would trust Ben´s cooking skills again and headed off to the local market to buy ingredients.
Vegetable curry was on the menu again and when we had loaded up on different veggies and fruits me and Jake were loaded up on boda-boda´s again with our hands full with bags.
It had started to drizzle lightly and the night was slowly falling over us.
As we were staying a bit out of town the motorcycles entered the traffic which was standing still more or less and went through the middle lane.
With middle lane I mean the middle of the road where you have the lane line painted.
This became the middle lane for the motorbikes and there were some places were we came very close to the cars where I felt the hair on my knees touching the car body.
But we managed to survive the traffic and got home just a few minutes before Ben who had used his bike to get home.
The food was an awesome cooking process and before I even managed to say something the curry had got the flavour of a banana and mango which had melted into the food.
This was gonna be served together with rice and instead of plates Ben thought we should use banana leaves.
He took a long knife and went hunting outside his compound and came back a few minutes later with a big branch of leaves.
A great dinner later we stayed up and talked until Jake said Good night and went to bed whilst me and Ben continued to talk.
As I noticed that he was almost falling a sleep on his mattress I thought it was time to go to bed. I didn’t end up sleeping much that night.
Our discussions had sparked some neurones in my head and made me think about myself and my life.