writings on the wall


This tag is associated with 7 posts

“Thin line ‘tween heaven and here”

The quote in the title was uttered by Bubbles, a recovering drug addict, when being returned home to the ghetto after having spent a day in suburban Baltimore, USA in the TV-series The Wire (highly recommend it by the way). Looking at the above map of a small (200x300m) area in Namanga, Dar es Salaam, … Continue reading

Urban transport dreams

African cities are walking cities, but are they walkable? ‘No’ was the immediate answer that came to my mind, but the title of the Walkonomics/This Big City blog post made me curious enough to read more. According to it, walking is “the most popular form of transport” in urban Africa. Realistic enough, there are millions … Continue reading

7th Heaven, pt. 2

#2 You can easily get lost in Stone Town Stone Town is the old part of the capital Zanzibar Town on Unguja, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s got a lovely charm and reminds me a little bit of Italy actually with the narrow, winding streets, small shops and cafés and countless scooters. It’s … Continue reading


”[W]ould it be too much to ask for people to look at the African city and see more than just poverty?”. Nanjala Nyabola makes a valid point in her article ‘The African city in European eyes’ accessible here on the Pambazuka website (which is by the way a great resource of opinion pieces and articles … Continue reading

Marvelous machingas

I think I’ve seen everything now. The creativity of salesmen here in Dar never fails to amaze me, and I’m beginning to doubt there’s anything you can’t buy on the street. During the first few weeks here I marvelled at the machingas (Swahili word for ‘marching guys’ aka street sellers) shuffling their coins while screaming … Continue reading

A guide to eating lunch in Dar

1. When hunger strikes in Dar, head your steps towards the end of Garden Avenue in the city centre, near the Botanical Gardens. There are four street kitchens to choose from, sitting side by side, but be sure to choose the one and only original Holiday Out, its name derived from once being seated opposite … Continue reading

Maji au umeme?

The rainy season is here! Between November and January it’s called ‘short rains’ whereas March to May promises ‘long heavy rains’. Something must have gone terribly wrong in my early education on the meaning of words though, because when I think about ‘short rains’, I don’t think about pouring madness from 5 in the morning … Continue reading

All writings on the wall

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