When I look out of the window I see Africa in sepia, the twig huts smeared with the brown-red Tanzanian dirt, are flashing before our eyes.
Zakia and I are sitting in a coach, that takes us from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi in 16 hours, with two breaks of 20 minutes each.
After three hours of traveling through the beautiful African countryside, I feel inspired to write.
This morning, I got up at 5 PM in our hotel, right next to our point of departure, a place I had envisioned totally different than it turned out to be.
I had in mind that the bus station might have 15 buses lined up, at the most.
As usual, Zakia is very active and busy with everything that has to be arranged. “ Wait here with the bags, I am going to buy a phonecard for Kenya”, she told me in the dark, early morning, and she disappeared into the crowd, with me trying to catch up.
When I try to find Zakia, there are hundreds of heavily packed people in my way. They are all trying to find their bus among at least 80 other buses, neatly parked in long rows.
The day has just begun but already I feel stressed.
Of course, I can not find my partner in this chaos, everyone is too late and at the wrong bus.
Searching for the right destination doesn’t stress anyone from Africa out. They all seem in peace and are patiently waiting until everyone has found his proper seat on the right bus. Fortunately, my partner, with phonecard, found me.
Together we find our coach quickly, and apparently Zakia’s friend, who reserved the tickets for us, knew what she was doing because we have the best seats available, right next to the driver.
This means front row seat, during all the skidding and kamikaze passes, on and off the road.
No, we didn’t hit any children, dogs, not even a chicken although it came pretty close a couple of times. At night, we arrive at Nirobi, exhausted but content.
It took a little longer than planned since the last 200 kilometers, from the border of Tanzania and Kenya to Nairobi, consist of dirt roads which means slip sliding to our destination.
The driver is tired and just as ready to go bed as we are, so he decides to take the advice of a passenger who claims to know a shortcut.
That doesn’t go very well and we end up lost in the dark. This turns out to be an adventure instead of a trip.
On our destination, relatives of Zakia’s friend, are waiting for us.
They take us to the hotel, the registration at the desk goes smoothly and after a refreshing shower, I fall right asleep.
After an excellent breakfast the next morning, we explore Nirobi.
It has a very modern center with many shopping malls and the streets are full with buisiness men and women, dressed in Western gray.
The restlessness that often comes with doing buisiness, is buzzing through the streets and is clearly visible in the behaviour of the drivers, nervous and uneasy.
After asking for directions, we arrive at the local office of Java House coffee,
a brand known for its high quality coffee.
Since we are planning to open our own coffee house in Zanzibar, this visit is a must for inspiration.
When we inspect their menu, we are impressed with the original and wide variety of their products. To me, this establishment is one of pure enjoyment.
With our heads full of ideas, we leave this coffee oasis and we decide to come back on every day of our stay, here in Nairobi.
After days of brainstorming and excellent food, we leave early in the morning for another 16 hour experience of the African landscape.
This time, we are on the lookout for Mount Kilimanjaro since we missed it on our way in.
Once again in the dark, we arrive back at the crowded busstation of Dar es Salaam.
To find a taxi goes a lot quicker than to bargain the price for the ride.
When we finally arrive at the hotel, our reservation appears not to be registered so we have to find another place to lay our heads.
Luckily, the phone number of a hotel I stayed before, is still in my cellphone and after a quick call, the most expensive room is reserved for us.
When we arrive, the spacious bar of the hotel is filled with the most beautiful girls, all hoping to find a mzungu to start a new life.
For most of the girls, one night with a white man is as far as it goes.
The next morning we plan to take the ferry to Zanzibar and start with the preparations for our new company.