Could I handle today’s Dar es Salaam?

Karimjee Jivanjee Office Building: Photo courtesy: Planning Unit University College London — Wikimedia Commons

There’s a difference between the Dar I remember, and the one I find on line. Many of the old buildings are demolished, and I stare at a photo trying to place where the picture fits into the map of Dar I hold in my head.

A year before I came to the coastal town, I spent a week in Bali. Kuta Beach had a dirt track leading to the ocean. There were no hotels so I rented a room in a local family’s house. Only traditional Balinese food was available.

800px-Dar_es_Salaam_before_dusk
Dar es Salaam today — even the blue skies seem to have disappeared. Photo courtesy: Muhammad Madhi Karim — Wikimedia Commons.

Twenty years later, I revisited the island with my daughter. We had just completed a hard two weeks going from one end of Java to the other, and Bali seemed like paradise to my daughter. I however, was disappointed. The once petite women had grown plump; the family house I’d stayed in was replaced with rows of shops; you could eat halal Kentucky Fried Chicken; and the beach was no longer free, you had to pay to sit on the sand.

This makes me apprehensive about revisiting Dar es Salaam, a town I remember with majestic buildings and a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

5 thoughts on “Could I handle today’s Dar es Salaam?”

  1. I went to a secluded beach in Lombok and it was (and still is) my all-time favorite beach. There were times when I was thinking of going back, but then I think it’s better to keep my memories of the beach the way I remember it.

    Liked by 1 person

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