Rockin’ and Reelin’ in Arusha, Tanzania

Yesterday was an interesting day…

Thom, Mike and I took a taxi over to Randall’s neighborhood to meet him and have lunch at a nearby sports bar which also doubles as a neighborhood health club… the food was actually decent. I had a feta/bacon pie in the UK tradition, Thom had a cheeseburger and Mike had the chicken… The pie was pretty great, but the winner so far in the mmm, mmm good contest has been the chicken… with peri peri sauce… a local, East African spicy marinade.

So we hung out at the bar, eating lunch, drinking the three local lagers (Kilimanjaro, Safari & Tusker,) Tusker being my favorite so far… actually they all taste more or less like Molson or Labatts with slight flavor variations… Aside from local water, they are tending to be the only dependable thing to drink…


It’s been really fun looking at all of the funky cars and trucks around here… so neat. Gosh, I know a lot of folks back home who would love one of the Land Rovers, Land Cruisers or… in the case of this flyer… UNIMOGs! Crazy all terrain stuff… I wonder what kind of vehicle will be used to pick our gear up at the airport when it finally ships to us… 2 Ton Truck? Donkey Cart? APC? Love the cars…



Back to the hotel in the afternoon… chill for a few hours, and as I was walking around the street near the hotel I saw a flyer for a band called “Warriors of the East,” playing at the bar in the shopping center we had been to earlier in the day… I called Thom, we got Mike and then a taxi at around 8:30pm and headed over… Well the band was pretty great… totally roots reggae/afropop sung in English and Swahili. The Musicians were really quite talented and kept switching instruments (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass and drums.) We started drinking beers… at the table right next to us was a mom, dad and cute little boy…

Warriors From The East

Now before I left for Africa, the last time I spoke with my Dad on the phone, stressing about making sure I had all the crap for the trip organized he says to me:

“Bob, the last thing you need to make sure you buy in the city… promise me you’ll do this… go to a party supply store… the kind that sells paper plates and party hats… and buy yourself a couple of big bags of balloons… get ’em… carry some in your pockets all the time… and when you see kids… GIVE THEM AWAY… kids over there will totally go nuts for you and it will make meeting the locals more fun…” 

Well, I got a couple of bags… Large blue and green balloons, in the colors of the Tanzanian flag… and wouldn’t you know… the first thing that happens after getting our beers is that Thom blows one up and gives it to the little boy in the bar… his mom smiles, his dad smiles and keeps shooting pool, and that little kid is off like a flash swatting that balloon over to us, and back, and then to the table of cute girls sitting in front of us, I blow up another, and then, while the band does an awesome version of B. Marley’s “Rat Race,” the kid is swatting/kicking the balloons back and forth all over the bar and everyone, including the band when a balloon goes behind a player, is having fun watching the kid go nuts… great fun. 

Goin' Nuts With A Balloon In The Bar...

Thanks Dad. Balloons totally an awesome idea… we will always have ’em in our pockets.

So we stayed until the band finished up… met the members of the band who were really nice. Found out where else they play in town weekly and arranged to see them again… Thom will have his guitar as soon as our crap ships over here from NYC, and that’s pretty freakin’ cool because after introducing himself to the band, it seems that there will be a Blues Jam in our future… and that will be damn cool I must say.

Good times.

~ by robotbob on July 18, 2010.

One Response to “Rockin’ and Reelin’ in Arusha, Tanzania”

  1. Very cool to hear yall are makin’ friends on the local scene. The fact that a jam will occur is no surprise to Chopchick – that’s just the way it goes when Thom is around! And I guess balloon fun is universal… as adults we often forget those simple joys. Floating and popping are good things!

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