79 – Mwanza to Nairobi: Aftermath
Sat 13th Feb, On a bus to Nairobi
From Kahama to Mwanza. I took the TML bus, a four hour trip to Mwanza. I was asleep 80% of the time, but the time i was awake, we passed through town after town. Africans i realise can really balance anything, and i mean anything on their heads. The street vendors come up when the bus stop in town, carrying atop their heads anything from bananas, peanuts, fish and other assortment of stuff. Elsewhere i’ve also seen on their heads firewood, cloth, even a pickaxe!
Reached Mwanza at about 10am. After the events of yesterday i was a bit cautious. Slapped the hand of a pickpocket who halfway unzipped my pouch when i got off the dalla-dalla, i walked around the town centre looking for onward bus travel companies. It wasn’t such a big town, so i decided i might as well get to Nairobi, where all the amenities are there and i can relax. I couldn’t find the Scandanavian Express ticket office so i went for Akamba Coach. The bus leaves at 1pm (30000 TSH, 13 hrs) so i had a couple of hours to walk around and grab some lunch. There is a high concentration of Indians in this town, migrants who have set up businesses here.
From Mwanza to Nairobi. Again, more bus journeys, but this time the route took me pass the western edge of the Serengiti, so i was treated to a free mini safari. The scenery was spectacular as always, and i must declared that Tanzania has the best clouds i’ve ever seen. Oodles of fluffy clouds sitting on top of each other. As for animals, there were baboons, zebras and various birdlife.
At the border crossing, the Kenyan border official asked how long i’d be staying, he must be curious as to why this tourist is criss-crossing so many countries in such a short span of time. I had a lot of Tanzanian shillings on me, but the exchange rate at the border wasn’t good. One money changer guy tried to use sleigh-of-hand to swipe 10000 TSH from me, i just got pissed off by all these conmen, thieves and general jackasses, i shouted at them and stomped off. I’m trying hard not to be pissed at the general east african population, telling myself the actions of a few should not determine how i react to everyone, but it’s really taking some effort at the moment.
There was one guy from Burundi, now an Australian citizen, after he fled there as a refugee and gained citizenship after 3 years. He came back to visit family and his sister in Tanzania, and was on the way back home via Nairobi. Nice guy, and i didn’t have the heart to tell him “Hey you, i got robbed by your countrymen yesterday!” Like i read somewhere, no one is interested to listen to your sob stories. “Half the people in the world don’t care about your problems, and the other half are probably glad you have them.”
I reached Nairobi at 4am, together with Acchi, a Jap guy who was on the bus with me, we decided to stay at the bus office till daylight. The hotel was less than 200m away, but there was no way i was going to walk there in the dark this time.