Barry's African Adventure: February 2004 Archives
A nice day at school. I took the kids to a waterfall near Arusha for a field trip.
Last Saturday, there was clash of interests in the local pub, Top Hill Bar.
It was early afternoon, and the pub was packed. The chalkboard, that sits outside and advertises the day's games, had displayed Arsenal - Chelsea and Man U - Leeds. Both to be braodcast live. Usually there are slightly more Arsenal fans, but it's pretty close. Unless you were in early on a Saturday like this, you got left with a metal seat miles away from the tv.
Anyway, both of the above games were actually due to kick off simultaneously, with both shown, but on different channels.
The Arsenal - Chelsea game played for almost twenty minutes before a chap from the crowd had quite clearly had enough. He got up and changed the channel, over to the Man U game. This was not entirely well revieved. Much shouting, gesticulating and handbag style antics followed. It's definitely the closest I've seen to a brawl. And the ripple effect of a few people standing up soon led to everyone being on their feet.
Of course, a large section of the pub found all this hugely amusing and laughed through most of the experience.
Luckily, a compromise was found. Alternate between the two at twenty two and a half minute intervals. Although you can't fault the management for trying to fill the pub.
However it would have all got really messy if the power cut that plagued the later game had been earlier.
Second term has been trucking along rather nicely for about six weeks now. Which means that I'm half way through the school year.
It's difficult to feel as though I've been living in Arusha for a while. There is generally plenty of work from school, or enough other things to amuse myself with, that I haven't really dwelt on time.
There is still plenty to see anyway. I saw a ten piece brass band balanced on the back of a small pick up truck. They were passing through town on a Saturday, as part of a wedding party.
However, this is definetly better than the guy who has a stupidly large pa system strapped onto the back of a little van. He goes through town belting out music and advertisements most Saturday mornings.
Added to this, are hundreds of small minibuses. (These are the cheapest way to get around, and everybody uses them. Twenty two people in a twelve seater seems to be the rule of thumb.) Each minibus has a caller, who competes with the other callers to be the loudest in shouting their particular buses' destination. Quiet Saturdays mornings.
Of course, the other feature of being half way through a term is that I get a long weekend. Splendid.
Arusha is a fairly large town, boasting such luxuries as two Chinese restaurants. With little persuasion, the manager of one of the restaurants agreed to offer a phone-in takeaway service.
One afternoon, while on holiday, an order was phoned. Half and hour later, a consignment of Chinese takeaway arrived. The taxi driver, two waiters from the restaurant, and a guard from the campus gate were all in the taxi with enough Chinese food for four people.
Not bad for about three quid each.