Marangu: All Business, No Pals
Marangu: All Business, No Pals.
Someone was having loud sex this afternoon just outside of my room. I had to change rooms later in the day because there was no electricity in my room, so I was moved to a different bungalow on the property, and was not within earshot of where I was before. Late in the afternoon, someone was having loud sex again. There seems to be no shyness about that here. Good for the Tanzanians for doing something naturally how they naturally want to do it!
Marangu is much different to Moshi, in the fact that people here are generally somewhat genuine. In Moshi, they all lie and tell you whatever they can to make money off of you. Here in this small village, they are not quite so extreme, and I meet a lot of smiling faces, but in the end it still seems that most of them will want to discuss a business proposition with you. So, it is difficult. In the end, you do not feel like anyone is sincere. Business wears a man down. There is just too much tourism around Mt. Kilimanjaro, and even though there are no tourists here in Marangu, people associate me with being here for a hike up the mountain and the price tag of at least $1,200 to climb it is too much for people to resist trying to be your guide.
There is a man here named Joseph who is sort of stalking me. He is everywhere I go in Marangu. I have yet to leave my guesthouse property and not run into him. He wears a smile, but I know he wants business as he runs a tour company. He is probably a good man underneath, but any time I go anywhere all of a sudden, like a pouncing cat, he is right in front of me and wants to shake my hand. “Hello!” He tried to give me ‘friendly’ tips on how to survive in Tanzania on basic things that any human who has left their front yard would have already figured out. Somehow, he assumes that because I am not from here I could not possibly know anything about life.
I had a really nice time hanging out at the little bar next to the guesthouse. A woman there in her 50’s cooks me lunch and dinner. I call her ‘My Mamma!’ today. She liked that. The beer-garden area was full, but I sat at the bar. There were four younger women in the area around me: a bartender and three of her friends. One of the friends spoke fantastic English. She was talking about the bartender when she said, “Maureen is loving you, but she doesn’t speak English. Only Swahili.” Maureen shared her bananas and pork dinner with me. I stayed there for one beer and had a shot of the local Tanzanian drink, ‘Konyagi’ gin, 35% alcohol. You can buy it in a bottle, or you can buy a shot in a factory-made plastic bag that has 50ml in it for $0.30. I had one and it was enough for me. A man sure could get drunk off of about $1.80 it that route was your weapon of choice.