As we left Stone Town, the City of Sultans, with a strong multi-ethnic flavor, with high mosques coexisting with bell towers and crucifixes, Alex and I were traveling to Nwngui’s village on his muddy blue jeep. Leaving behind groups of Muslims who speak Swahili, dressed in the traditional “kanzu“, we enter in the nature. The road began to get very dark and even asphalt was like sliding down on a dark tongue. The car’s lights were not sufficient to open a clear gap in the darkness. I wonder why everything around us was so dark. “Here electricity is a luxury”. Ale told me that months ago the island remained without electricity for three months. Someone had damaged the cable carrying electricity from Dar Es Salam. Wow, it must be very wild to live like that!Into the wild! Alex looks at me and didn’t say a word. He didn’t appreciate my romanticism. He told me about all his adventures in Cape Town. He told me that it was really difficult to navigate the sea with the cold. He had had to get used to a completely different life on the sailing boat. Shifts of four hours, instinct always ready, no chance for mistakes. “Hard life in the sea, but you get used to”.
While Ale was driving, drinking beer and smoking, I was trying to penetrate the darkness with my eyes. Everything seemed to be a video game, people walking on the side of the road without stopping. Someone with pots on the head and others simply heading somewhere. I realized, a few days later, that people walks continuosly during the night and during the day and they never stop. They don’t have money for gasoline, that is very expensive, 30,000 tanzanian shillings per 40 km of road, which is about 15 euro. They don’t have enough money even for the public transport and most of them don’t have a house. So they keep walking everywhere.
Women with long black veils with their feet decorated with henna ( in the Arabic way) and women with colorful clothes were carrying baskets and jugs on their heads, remaining remarkably stable and balanced, were walking with elegance trough a dense vegetation of coconut palms and mango trees. We cross the plantations, where I feel the smell of unknown fruits and we smile happy at the idea that the machine will stop: we are in reserve. Observed the amazing ethnic mix of men and women on the street I feel starving, and after 25 minutes of travel we opt for a drift.
Good. We are at Seles Resaturant on the beach, a good price/quality ratio: the atmosphere is friendly and casual, you can hear the waves moving to the rhythm of music and the restaurant is a typical building, with wood pilings.
The wide choice, including vegetarian and seafood is good, all the food is fresh and cooked at the moment. Our dinner was a dream: fish, giant prawns served with coconut sauce, squid and octopus cooked in local spices, accompanied by a fine and expensive south african’s wine. Asante asana, thank you very much, all good.
While we are drinking our wine, Alex tells me, with the eyes full of life: “ There are so many unhappy people in the world, many guys like us who live a life based on system, and they don’t have the courage to change their situation. They feel so confident in their shells, but I understood that there is no worse thing in the life of a secure future”.
I still feel like them, a little. The passion for adventure saves me, but not conventional makes me uncertain, I’m afraid to fail and disappoint the people close to me. For many reasons in Italy I miss a lot of things. I could work for the UN, but I don’t want to investigate the reasons for these obstacles again. I’m open to any challenge, and I answer to Alex.
“Perhaps Africa is as tough as you say, rude, sometimes so much that you have to be like that, maybe“.
The big excitement of my arrival, made me tired and I gave up with the last glass of wine for a bed, finally deserved. We went back in the car and we are again on the dirty roads, we faced with a group of goats in the middle of the street. Alex pushes on the accelerator. I put my hands over my eyes with the body sliding along the seat. “I killed one”. “Oh my God!”. I didn’t move from my positon, beginning to say everything I was thinking on him. Poor animals they are like us, they deserve respect. You’re a crazy fucking man! But he said: “The here the life of a goat in comparison to everything else has no value”. That phrase was chilling but was followed by a laughter, because goats were all good. I would have to get used to the presence of animals everywhere. Here nature is stronger than man, even if the economic power begins to devastate entire sites.
We continued our journey to the hotel, the Baobab Beach Resort, where is the Diving Ocean Zanzibar where Alex works. I remember a little my arrival, after all the words, the beer and wine, I was in a comatose state. I pass my passport at the receptionist, I pick up the key to my bungalow and I reach my bed. I cannot wait to see what lies beneath the sunlight.